Town are second best in high-flying contest

Reporter:

Shaun Davies

AFTER more than two months, Denbigh Town have suffered a Huws Gray Alliance loss.

Ahead of Saturday, Town’s previous defeat in the league came on August 26.

However, in their top-five meeting with Guilsfield, it was the Mid Walians who walked away from Central Park with the three points.

Denbigh were looking to get back to winning ways following a disappointing 4-0 League Cup loss at Llandudno Junction seven days earlier.

During the week, Denbigh manager Eddie Maurice-Jones had signed Joe Culshaw from Welsh Premier League team Aberystwyth and he started at left back due to unavailability of Nathan Williams.

Denbigh were without other key players in the shape of Steve Cunningham (dislocated knee) and the suspended Kristian Pierce.

Before kick-off, Maurice-Jones was presented with his award for being the Huws Gray Cymru Alliance Manager of the Month for September by club secretary Steve Whitfield.

The game started with Guilsfield having the better of the early stages.

They took the lead after just five minutes when Adam Jenkins’ wicked cross from the left wing was missed by Denbigh’s defence and the ball fell for striker Asa Hamilton to blast it past Jon Hill-Dunt.

As their bright start continued, Guilsfield could have doubled their advantage two minutes later when Jake Cook sent in an excellent low cross, but there were no visiting players there to knock it into the net.

Denbigh responded and it appeared like they had equalised on 10 minutes.

Josh Davies’ looping header was on its way into the goal until a Guilsfield defender cleared it off the line.

Denbigh’s players and supporters all claimed the ball was well over the line, only for referee Rhys Ryder to wave play on after briefly glancing at his assistant for his decision.

This seemed to galvanise the Denbigh team and they then enjoyed some good periods of play.

Gareth Partridge was instrumental with some telling set pieces, while Town’s Craig Pritchard was in the thick of things and he was on the receiving end of several mistimed tackles from the Guilsfield defence.

Guilsfield, meanwhile, had chances themselves and Hill-Dunt was forced into an excellent save to deny Hamilton, who was proving to be a handful for the home defence.

The visitors extended their advantage on 32 minutes.

Jake Cook made a telling run down the right wing and Denbigh failed to get in a tackle him, allowing him into the penalty area to shoot low past an outstretched Hill-Dunt to make it 2-0.

This took the sting out of Denbigh’s play as they tried to get back into the game before half-time, but they were thwarted by a strong and well-organised Guilsfield team.

Denbigh manager Maurice-Jones had some stern words to say to his players at half-time and this certainly had a desired effect.

His side were right back in the game three minutes after the restart.

Josh Davies broke through on the right hand side and he was able to fire past keeper Wycherley.

However, Town’s raised spirits did not last long and Guilsfield regained their two-goal cushion after an hour.

When Denbigh failed to contest a long ball, Asa Hamilton was sent through on goal in a one-on-one with Hill-Dunt.

He unselfishly squared for the incoming Chris Catherall to fire into an empty net.

Denbigh aimed to bounce back, but despite their endeavours, they could not get beyond a disciplined Guilsfield defence.

Pritchard laid off a ball for Jake Eyre to fire at Wycherly, only for the keeper to save well at the expense of a corner.

Partridge shot well to force Wycherly to scramble and make a diving save, while Josh Davies had a golden opportunity, only for keeper to once again make another excellent save.

Denbigh made changes, with Andrew Swarbrick replacing Warren Duckett up front and Liam Smith coming on for Dan Sullivan, who had a back injury.

The last 10 minutes witnessed Town putting more and more pressure on the Guilsfield goal.

With five minutes left. Gareth Partridge laid a great ball for substitute Swarbrick to fire into the net, but he was adjudged to have been offside by the assistant linesman, much to the dismay of the Denbigh supporters.

More pressure on the Guilsfield goal came to nothing and the visitors deservedly coming out on top 3-1.

Email:

shaun.davies@nwn.co.uk

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