JD Cymru North
Rhyl celebrated not just a 2-1 victory over Prestatyn Town at Belle Vue on Saturday – they also halted the 100% record of their Denbighshire neighbours in an entertaining Cymru North clash.
The crowd of 540 was by far not the biggest ever to witness these two former Cymru Premier rivals in action, but there were still all the elements of a fiercely-contested local derby.
Prestatyn came into the game full of confidence after scoring 11 goals in their last two outings whilst Rhyl were out to make amends after a disappointing 2-0 midweek loss at Llandudno.
It was the Lilies who made the breakthrough in the 10th minute when James Murphy was able to unleash a half-volley from inside the area which left Ryan Woods stranded.
Neil Gibson’s Seasiders rallied. A fine cross from Rob Hughes evaded the home defence but Danny Davies’ shot went into the side-netting, then Rory Crowther was on hand to deny Dave Hayes.
Former Lilywhite Hughes maintained his record of scoring in every game this season when he equalised in the 35th minute.
Hughes, who came into the derby on the back of consecutive hat-tricks, found the space to evade the home defence and shoot low past Crowther for his 10th goal of the campaign.
Town supporters’ joy was short-lived as a minute later Steve Thomas was on hand to react to a pass from Murphy and shoot past Woods from inside the box to make it 2-1, which was how things stood at half time.
The start of the second half was end-to-end before Rhyl had a great chance in the 65th minute when Leo Riley was played in, but his shot was cleared off the line.
While Prestatyn pushed forward the hosts often looked likeliest to score. A fine Woods save denied Ben Nash in the 72nd minute.
Asa Hamilton was played through after good work down the home left, but the striker’s shot was blocked by the recovering defender.
Rhyl were unfortunate not to win a penalty for handball, but Eddie Maurice-Jones’ side held on for the points.
Colwyn Bay 2 Llandudno 0
Bay claimed their first win in the JD Cymru North with a 2-0 home success against Llandudno in front of a bumper crowd of 770, reports Tim Channon.
The Seagulls had to survive a good start by Tudno, who twice went close in the opening minutes with Rob Parry heading a great chance just wide, but Craig Hogg’s men gradually settled into the game with Damien Ketley side-footing off target from Tom McCready’s run and pass, before taking the lead on 41 minutes.
Llandudno keeper Shaun Pearson did well to smother a Mitch Bryant shot away for a corner, but from the flag kick, Julian Williams was brought down after a great turn inside the area and McCready scored from the resulting penalty.
Three minutes into the second half it was 2-0 with Williams heading in from close range via a McCready corner.
Hogg said afterwards: “Two goals, three points, a clean sheet in a ‘derby’ in front of 780 people – you bet we are pleased with that!
“The most important thing for me was that we were much better with the ball at our feet than we were at Llangefni in midweek when we were poor in possession. It was important we got a reaction from that today.
“Llandudno started well and could have scored early on, but once we had weathered that opening 15 minutes I thought we took control of the game.
“The second half was a case of game management because it was important not to concede and let them back in it.
“It is easy to forget we are only nine weeks into a five-year project. We are still gelling and knitting together as a group and I am still learning as a young manager, but I feel we are making progress.”
Rest of the Cymru North
Second-place Flint Town United enjoyed a 3-0 victory at Buckley Town, Richie Foulkes, Mark Cadwallader and Alex Titchiner with the goals.
Conwy Borough thrashed Llangefni Town 4-0 at Y Morfa, Tomos Clarke putting them ahead before Corrig McGonigle scored two pearlers either side of a Liam Morris net-finder.
Emmanuel Agyemang notched the only goal as unbeaten Bangor City claimed a 1-0 decision at Porthmadog.
Matty Williams struck as Llanrhaeadr became one of four clubs vying for the lead on nine points with a 1-0 win against Gresford Athletic.
Guilsfield caned Llanfair United 6-1. Adam Davies (3, 1 pen), Steve Blenkinsop (2) and Robbie James shared the home tally and Andrew Davies responded for the visitors, who finished with 10 men after Gethin Stephens was dismissed.
Friday: Corwen 0 Ruthin Town 2.