EARLY and late strikes did the trick to hand Corwen their first victory of the year.

The first football action at War Memorial Park in 2018 saw Corwen host Mold Alexandra on a chilly January afternoon.

The earlier meeting between the sides this season saw Mold come from behind to a record a 2-1 victory back in August, so Corwen were determined to get the three points on this occasion.

In the third minute, a good ball was played over to Corwen’s Joe Williams, whose great first touch enabled him to bring it down and send a shot across the face of the goal that went narrowly wide of the far post.

Corwen continued to press and after seven minutes, Iorwerth Jones was brought down in the penalty area, promoting referee Stephen Jones to point to the spot.

Top scorer Joe Williams stepped up to take the spot kick and although keeper Ben Jones guessing correctly, he couldn’t quite stop the ball from going into the corner of the net.

Mold looked to respond and five minutes later, a corner from the visitors caused a scramble in the penalty area.

The ball could have gone anywhere, but it was eventually bundled out by Corwen at the expense of another corner.

It looked like Tom Williams was going to double Corwen’s advantage in the 14th minute.

His shot had Jones beaten, but it hit the post.

At the other end, Aled Reece's header was comfortably saved by keeper Nathan Aldridge, while Tom Williams' effort from the edge of the box for Corwen went narrowly wide of the target.

This was closely followed by a chance for captain Scott Evans, who collected the ball on the edge of the box, but his shot zipped just wide of the goal.

Two minutes before the break saw the appearance of a debutant at War Memorial Park.

Referee Mr Jones used the ‘magic spray’ to mark out where the free kick should be taken from and where the wall should stand!

Stuart Hayes took the set piece, which went into the wall and Aled Reece sent his strike wide of the target from the rebound.

On the hour, Corwen’s Wil Roberts won the ball by his own corner flag and started a counter attack by passing the ball to Tom Williams.

He ran with the ball from the halfway line and went past a defender before crossing to Joe Williams.

The Corwen attacker saw off the challenge of Matty Lewis and found the back of the net, but his effort was disallowed for offside.

A Mold throw-in led to them creating a goalscoring opportunity.

The ball found its way to Lee Jones, whose shot narrowly went past the post.

This was closely followed by another opportunity for the away side.

Kieran Gaul's free kick picked out Adam Renshaw, who toe-poked the ball wide of the goal.

From the resulting goal kick, Corwen threatened once more.

The ball was played to Tom Williams, whose cross hit a defender and then Joe Williams on its way into the back of the net, but this goal was chalked off for offside.

Mold looked for an equaliser from a corner with quarter-of-an-hour left to play, but Alex Wetherby's effort didn't cause any bother for Nathan Aldridge.

The result was put beyond doubt when Corwen stretched their lead with five minutes remaining.

A quick ball forward was collected by Tom Williams and his powerful strike arrowed into the bottom corner of the net.

Corwen's victory was rubber-stamped in the first minute of stoppage time.

Birthday boy Elystan Hughes played a great through ball to Joe Williams, who made no mistake with his shot from inside the 18-yard box.