DENBIGH Town began 2024 in awful fashion as Ruthin hit four without reply in the Vale of Clwyd derby.

Goals from Llyr Morris, Soulayman El Amri and a Sam Jones brace secured the points and revenge for Town’s last-minute winner on Boxing Day.

Manager Dewi Llion named one change to his side with Ryan Kershaw serving a suspension and was replaced by Billy Holmes, who had been unavailable on Boxing Day following the birth of his son, whilst the manager also missed out owing to a one-match touchline ban.

Both sides showed intent early on with chances are either end of the pitch, Nathan Brown picked the ball up before driving an effort at goal, only for Dan Goldston to touch it over.

El Amri responded three minutes later when he dispossessed Dan Parry-Jones, cut inside and forced Aaron Jones to tip over for a corner.

Ruthin began getting on top, with the aforementioned corner falling to Ethan Jones who couldn’t steer a powerful effort on target.

On 17 minutes Parry-Jones yet again conceded possession, this time to Morris, who forced Jones again in to making a stop from an angle.

A minute later Ruthin had the lead. The resulting corner was swept in and after both sides dug in for the ball, it fell to Morris to touch home and give Ruthin the advantage.

Town now trailing had to keep their composure, a free-kick was won 25 yards out that Brown floated into the keeper’s arms but chances were at a premium for the visitors.

Just before the half-hour mark the lead was doubled. El Amri delivered from the right after some great work before Jones side-footed home from close range.

Some thought Ruthin had a third before the break when Morris finished well but the flag had been raised, whilst Town almost halved the deficit when a corner was half cleared before Craig Pritchard volleyed over.

Denbigh came out knowing they’d need a herculean effort to get anything out of the game.

Within five minutes they had a sight of goal when Ben Lockley pumped a superb long ball towards Tom Weir who brought it down, shaped and tested Goldston in goal.

A minute before the hour mark and it was three, El Amri this time went from provider to goal scorer as he smashed the ball home.

Ruthin were well on top, Morris almost had another when he found himself free down the left but Jones made a great stop at his near post, with the following corner causing confusion before trickling across the face of goal before being cleared.

Sam Jones almost had his brace on 68 minutes when a free-kick from deep wasn’t cleared and his effort from the edge of the box was inches over, before Denbigh hit back via Pritchard who cut inside and won a corner after some good progress down the right.

With seven minutes to play the match was dead and buried, as Sam Jones finally had his second and Ruthin’s fourth with a simple finish to stick the knife into their Vale rivals.

It really should have been five but Morris’ ball across to Luke Molmans saw the latter blaze over from just yards out.

Denbigh will need to dust themselves down quickly with a home match with Gresford Athletic to come on Friday night at Central Park.