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Prestatyn Town: How their previous tier-two titles were won

Prestatyn Town’s 2016-17 title-winning squad

Prestatyn Town need just one more win from their remaining four matches to be crowned second-tier champions for a third time.

The Seasiders previously secured what was then known as the Cymru Alliance League title in 2007-08 and 2016-17.

Now the newly-named Cymru North championship beckons for Neil Gibson’s team, but when will it happen? Or will it happen?

It is unclear as yet, due to the coronavirus pandemic, where the 2019-20 North Wales football season is going. Will it resume or not?

In the meantime, Prestatyn fans can reflect with pride on the two previous occasions they lifted the Cymru Alliance crown.

2007/08

Llanfairpwll 2 (Roberts 22, Owen 24)
Prestatyn Town 3 (Fisher-Cooke 12; Griffiths 62 pen & 78)
Cymru Alliance League – April 5, 2008

Prestatyn Town rejoice at their 2007-08 Cymru Alliance title success

Needing just a point from their visit to Llanfairpwll to seal the title, Town picked up all three to clinch the trophy in style.

Ian Griffiths was a two-goal hero for the Seasiders, who had been outstanding in only their second season in the Cymru Alliance.

Neil Gibson’s side eventually finished top by a massive 15 points, with a tremendous 93 goals scored.

The likes of runners-up Bala Town, Flint Town United and Llandudno finished well behind the Bastion Gardens club.

Championship-winning sides have days where they blitz the opposition but often enjoy their fair share of ground-out victories too.

This 3-2 early April success at Y Gors certainly fell into the second category, but no-one at Prestatyn was complaining as the Seasiders wrapped up the Cymru Alliance with a hard-fought triumph.

Gibson’s men made a flying start, Llanfair keeper Ben Heald denying strikers Jon Fisher-Cooke and Griffiths before the latter had a goal ruled out for offside.

The home side had a couple of close calls themselves before the visitors took the lead on 15 minutes, Ross Hannen and Dan Evans combining well to free Fisher-Cooke, who stabbed past Heald from eight yards.

Llanfairpwll were determined to be party poopers, however, and on 22 minutes skipper Kevin Roberts beat Jon Hill-Dunt from 25 yards with a cracking left foot strike.

Two minutes later the Anglesey men were 2-1 up when Richard Owen won a challenge with Dave Hayes before applying a fine finish.

Back came the Seasiders and Heald performed marvels to keep out a Fisher-Cooke header from point blank range before doing well to hold a Steve Hoult free-kick.

Playing into the wind in the second period Prestatyn again made a good start and on 55 minutes had a golden chance to equalise when Darren Hughes brought down Fisher-Cooke in the box.

Hoult took the penalty but the heroic Heald dived to his right and produced another important save.

In the 62nd minute the visitors won another spot-kick following a trip on Griffiths in the area by Nidian Huws. This time Griffiths made no mistake from 12 yards, sending Heald the wrong way.

Soon after the islanders saw their exemplary disciplinary record blotted when Tony Williams kicked a grounded Griffiths right in front of referee Howie Farrell and rightly received a straight red card.

Two last ditch blocks denied Llanfair the lead before on 78 minutes Prestatyn plundered the winning goal.

Fisher-Cooke was fouled but Mr Farrell played a good advantage, enabling Hannen to slot a neat pass to man of the match Griffiths who lashed into the top corner for his 16th goal of the campaign.

Town threatened several times on the counter in the closing minutes but 3-2 it finished and Prestatyn celebrated joyously at the final whistle.

Prestatyn: Jon Hill-Dunt, Andy Davies, Jack Lewis, David Hayes, Jamie Duffy, Stuart Hannen, Dan Evans (Steve Bowes 60), Adrian Hoyle (Neil Gibson 67), Jon Fisher-Cooke, Ian Griffiths, Steve Hoult. Unused sub: Steve Harris.

2016/17

Prestatyn Town 1 (Fairhurst 64)
Gresford Athletic 0
Cymru Alliance League – March 10, 2017

Hollie Jones captures the magic moment as Prestatyn celebrate with the 2016/17 trophy

Having won the Cymru Alliance title by 15 points first time around, Prestatyn bettered that in 2016-17 when they finished 16 clear of their nearest challenger Caernarfon Town (Porthmadog and Airbus hold the joint record for the biggest title-winning margin – 19 points in 2002-03 and 2003-04 respectively).

Prestatyn clinched the 2016-17 crown with four matches to spare and produced the second highest amount of goals ever from a Cymru Alliance championship-winning team (114 – Cemaes Bay amassed 117 in 1994-95).

Needing just a point from a home clash with Gresford Athletic to seal a return to the Welsh Premier, Town won 1-0 in front of their adoring fans at the Motion Finance Stadium.

It was Prestatyn’s 23rd win in 26 league games.

Third-place Gresford proved tough opposition but the Seasiders had the better of a goal-less first half.

Reece Fairhurst almost broke the deadlock early in the second half but was denied by a superb save from Athletic keeper Mike Platt.

The visitors missed a sitter before in the 64th minute a long throw from Jack Lewis was flicked on in the box and Fairhurst applied the finish.

Noah Edwards and Jack Kenny were foiled by Platt before the final whistle blew on a joyous afternoon for Neil Gibson’s men.

Prestatyn Town’s current Cymru North record this season with four games to play is…..
Played 26 Won 22 Drawn 2 Lost 2 Goals For 84 Goals Against 19 Points 68

The least number of goals ever conceded by a Cymru Alliance championship-winning side was Porthmadog’s 19 in 2002-03.

To match that, Prestatyn would need not to let in another goal in their remaining four matches.

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