A BRACE from captain Mark Roberts ensured that Denbigh Town edged out Rhos Aelwyd to reach the last eight of the FAW Trophy.

In a tie dominated by a wind that strengthened during the afternoon, Roberts played a real battling captain’s role to grab a goal in each half.

Town manager Dewi Llion made one change from the team that drew with Holyhead Hotspur in the league seven days earlier, with Chris Bennett coming into the starting line-up and Dan Clarke moved to the bench

Having claimed the scalps of Rhostyllen and Gaerwen in previous rounds, Denbigh knew the Rhos Aelwyd’s league position of 13th in the Premier Division of the Wrexham Area League gave a false picture and they went into the match with a firm game plan to take control from the start.

Playing with the wind behind them in the first half, two attempts in the first minute showed Denbigh’s intent.

Mark Roberts’ lob went just over Rhos keeper Daniel Roberts’ head and Chris Bennett was unlucky to see his low strike go just wide of the target.

After ten minutes, Roberts had his first goal.

Promising youngster Jacob Barratt picked the ball up in the middle of the Rhos Aelwyd half and he fed Jake Walker, who made headway towards the area.

He laid a ball into the path of Roberts, who fired low across Daniel Roberts’ goal with the ball hitting the net off the inside of the post.

Instead of going on to dominate the rest of the half, Denbigh allowed Rhos Aelwyd to come back into the game and the visitors had a good 15-minute spell with plenty of possession in the middle of the park.

Denbigh’s defensive partnership of Billy Holmes and Jonathan Terry were the stumbling block as the duo limited Rhos attempts on goal with some great defending, along with Joe Griffith in Town’s goal dealing comfortably with any attempts from the visitors.

As the half wore on, Denbigh’s Chris Bennett was unlucky when Rhos keeper Daniel Roberts pulled off a great save and shortly afterwards, Jacob Barratt’s 20-yard free kick hit the base of the post with Roberts stranded.

Half time came with Denbigh unable to take full advantage of having the wind behind them.

The second half saw the hosts start positively, with Jake Walker immediately making room for a shot from 12 yards only for Roberts to gather his shot.

Town continued with their pressure as Mark Roberts went close and then Walker hitting the bar with a header, with Chris Bennett unable to capitalise on the rebound.

Denbigh doubled their advantage after an hour.

After Chris Bennett’s free kick hit the wall, Paul Fleming lobbed the ball into the danger area and Mark Roberts beat the keeper in an aerial battle, with the ball eventually going into the net after a couple of ricochets.

With the comfort of a two-goal cushion, Denbigh immediately gave Rhos a chance to get back into the game by conceding a needless penalty for a soft foul.

Ryan Jenkins stepped up and blasted the ball past Griffith in Denbigh’s goal.

Ten minutes later and Rhos Aelwyd could have equalised.

Directly from a Rhos goal kick with the wind behind it, sub Ian Hughes had a brilliant first touch and hit a volley from 35 yards out.

This had Griffith scrambling backwards and he was grateful to see the ball landing on the top of the net.

At the other end, Jake Walker was unlucky to see his header from a Chris Bennett cross go just over, before Denbigh were forced to make a change on 71 minutes when Jacob Barratt was on the receiving end of a crude challenge from Aled Parry.

Parry received a yellow card from referee Owen, who controlled the game well in difficult conditions.

Dan Clarke replaced Barratt and shortly after - with Rhos having another good spell - defender Les Brophy came on for striker Jake Walker as Denbigh looked to protect their slender lead and avoid extra time.