Duckett at the double as Denbigh go second in the Alliance table

Reporter:

Shaun Davies

THE high-flyers from Central Park just keep on soaring even higher.

Eddie Maurice-Jones’ Denbigh Town team moved into second place in the Huws Gray Cymru Alliance after a hard-fought win over a tough Caersws team.

A brace from Warren Duckett and Kristian Pierce’s penalty gave Denbigh their ninth win of the season, despite a spirited performance from the mid Wales team.

With Airbus UK Broughton losing out to Holywell Town, Denbigh are up to second in the standings and they trail frontrunners Caernarfon Town by only three points.

With heavy wintry showers throughout the morning, a late pitch inspection deemed the pitch playable.

The Denbigh faithful were treated to an enthralling game, played in difficult conditions as the heavy showers continued throughout the contest.

Denbigh brought in Nathan Williams at centre back alongside Dan Sullivan, as captain Ben Nash was suspended.

Matt Cook returned to the starting XI after impressing in the previous game against Airbus, which he had started as a substitute.

Town also welcomed new signing Corey Smart, from Queens Park, to the squad and he started on the bench.

It was Caersws who started the better and centre forward Steve Blenkinsop was unlucky to see his header just go over the bar from close range.

Town responded by playing some intricate one-touch football on the heavy pitch.

Craig Pritchard linked well with Rakim Newton to play a great ball to Josh Davies, but his cross was intercepted at the expense of a corner.

Minutes later and the busy Pritchard played himself into the penalty area to cross the ball, only for the Caersws defence to clear in scrappy fashion.

The ball came back to Pritchard, who was fouled and referee Tom Owen pointed to the penalty spot.

Up stepped Kristian Pierce to coolly slot the ball past Caersws keeper David Jones after a quarter-of-an-hour.

A few minutes later and things got even better for Denbigh as they doubled their lead.

Matt Cook linked well with Pritchard to lay the ball to Warren Duckett, who fired into the net from 10 yards out.

Caersws responded well to these setbacks and on 27 minutes, they broke well down their right hand side.

A low cross was met in the area by Luke Sherborn, whose shot was blocked at point blank range by Nathan Williams’ hand.

A penalty was awarded and Elliott Jones sent his spot kick to Jon Hill-Dunt’s right hand side.

The keeper guessed correctly and dived to his right to make a brilliant save and maintain Denbigh’s two-goal advantage.

However, Caersws got the goal they deserved two minutes later.

Steve Blenkinsop was on the end of a dangerous cross to fire in from close range.

Moving into the latter stages of the first half and both teams had chances as the game ebbed to-and-fro.

A moment of magic from Warren Duckett on 41 minutes saw Denbigh regain their two-goal cushion.

He picked the ball up on the left, shrugged off a couple of tackles and ignored left back’s Joe Culshaw’s call for the ball.

Instead, Duckett moved closer to the edge of the Caersws box and let fly with a curling shot that flew into the top left corner of the goal, giving keeper Jones no chance.

Denbigh went in at half time 3-1 up, but they knew they were in a contest against a Caersws team who were still well in the game. Despite their being in the bottom three of the league, the Mid Walians were playing well as a unit and their league position was giving a false picture.

The game continued with both teams having chances.

Denbigh had a great opportunity for a fourth following a free kick award for a foul on Pierce.

Joe Culshaw floated the ball into the Caersws box and it fell to Pritchard, whose shot was saved well by Jones.

It was soon game on once again, though.

On 62 minutes, another break from Caersws saw a ball in from their right wing being glanced past Hill-Dunt by the head of Luke Sherborn to make it 3-2.

Chances were now coming at both ends and Denbigh manager Maurice-Jones introduced Corey Smart for his debut, replacing Rakim Newton.

The versatile Gareth Partridge dropped to right back as Smart took up a central midfield role.

Meanwhile, Duckett’s quest for a hat-trick was denied when he was replaced by Andrew Swarbrick.

Smart was involved in move when Pritchard and Partridge played a ball for him to fire from 20 yards, but his fierce shot was blocked. Pritchard was involved in more and more of Denbigh’s chances and he himself made a jinking run into the Caersws box, only for his shot to be easily saved by Jones.

At the other end, Craig Harris tried his luck from outside the box and his effort whistled past Hill-Dunt’s far post.

With the game moving into its final stages, Denbigh managed to gain more possession and Josh Davies was holding the ball up well, while also winning his aerial battles with the Caersws central defenders.

Swarbrick had a shot blocked by Jones and the rebound went to Pierce, whose shot was also blocked and cleared.

Caersws were not finished and Harris sent in a high cross at pace, which Hill-Dunt punched clear from under his crossbar at the expense of a corner.

This set piece came to nothing and referee Owen blew for full time, much to the relief of the Denbigh team and supporters.

Email:

shaun.davies@nwn.co.uk

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