Denbigh Town 1 (S Jones 82)
Connah’s Quay Nomads 0
Word Cup semi-final – November 18, 2015
Five years ago tonight Denbigh Town celebrated one of the greatest results in their history when they beat higher division Connah’s Quay Nomads to reach the final of the Word Cup.
This headline-making giant-killing, which saw tier 2 Cymru Alliance slay top level Welsh Premier, came very early in Andy Morrison’s tenure as Nomads manager, the former Manchester City captain having taken over at Deeside Stadium just a fortnight earlier.
Roared on by a 500-plus home crowd on a Wednesday evening at Central Park, Denbigh had to defend for large spells of the game with keeper Elliot Power making several superb saves.
The highlight of Power’s performance was a penalty stop from Ashley Ruane on 73 minutes.
Straight from the save Denbigh broke with pace and should have scored when Mark Roberts was through but he fired high and wide.
The winning goal arrived on 83 minutes when a superb Kristian Pierce run saw the ball break to sub Sam Jones, who drilled home the winner.
A nervous four minutes of injury time was played but Denbigh held on for a superb win and jubilant scenes followed the final whistle.
Under manager Gareth Thomas (Perry), Town defeated three Welsh Premier sides on their way to the final.
They won 4-2 at Rhyl, leading 4-0 at half time with goals from Kristian Pierce (2), Anthony Dunleavey and Mike Sharples before seeing off fellow Cymru Alliance side Holyhead Hotspur 4-0 away, Pierce (2), Carl Lamb and substitute Sam Jones on the mark.
In the quarter-finals another Welsh Premier scalp was taken as Airbus were eliminated 2-1 at Central Park, Tony Davies (pen) and Dunleavey ensuring the underdogs progressed in extra time.
Next to fall were Nomads, Jones’ late goal sealing a shock 1-0 success.
The final proved a bridge too far as Town went down fighting 2-0 against The New Saints, Denbigh lad Matty Williams and Mike Wilde with the goals.
But what a run it had been by Denbigh Town, whose squad in the final was: Elliott Power, Joe Freeman, Matty Hughes, Dave MacIntyre (Paul Hart 72), Tony Davies (Dan Lloyd 46), Mike Sharples, Ant Williams, Kristian Pierce, Warren Duckett (Mike Cronshaw 80), Sam Tate, Mark Roberts. Subs not used: Sam Jones, Jack Rowlands, Sam Lewis, Connor Jones.
Denbigh’s exploits breathed new life into a competition formerly known as the Welsh Premier League Cup before the format changed in 2014/15.
In a radical shake up, the 12 Welsh Premier League clubs were joined by six teams each from the two feeder leagues, and also four wildcard entrants.