The New Saints 2 (Williams 25, Wilde 56)
Denbigh Town 0
Word Cup Final – January 23, 2016
It was a David versus Goliath final of the Word Cup five years ago today.
Strong favourites were holders The New Saints, reigning Welsh Premier League champions and six-time winners of this competition.
The romance was provided by tier-two Cymru Alliance underdogs Denbigh Town, who had knocked out three WPL sides in Rhyl (4-2), Airbus UK Broughton (2-1) and Connah’s Quay Nomads, as well as Holyhead Hotspur.
Maesdu Park, Llandudno, was the venue for the showpiece game, which attracted a large turnout of Denbigh fans keeping everything firmly crossed for a huge upset in one of the biggest matches in their club’s history.
The Saints got their first proper shot on target after 10 minutes when possession on the edge of the box resulted in a powerful strike from Simon Spender that ended up in the arms of Denbigh goalkeeper Elliot Power.
Craig Harrison’s side were a constant danger, and found the breakthrough in the 25th minute when a cross from Chris Marriott was glanced in by the head of Matty Williams – ironically a Denbigh lad – to make it 1-0.
Despite this setback, Gareth Thomas’ men remained tight and prevented any further goals in the first half.
Half-time: TNS 1 Denbigh 0
On 52 minutes TNS went close to scoring a second when Chris Seargeant took a shot from 20 yards out that went just wide of the left post.
A second goal was to come. Adrian Cieslewicz crossed into the box from the left and Mike Wilde beat his marker to head in for 2-0 after 56 minutes.
Aeron Edwards hit a goal-bound effort but Power was able to make the save.
With five minutes left on the clock, Denbigh were doing all they could to find a way back into the match.
When Paul Hart got on the end of a long ball forward he noticed Paul Harrison off his line in The New Saints goal. Hart hit a lob on the volley but the ball went over the crossbar.
Although disappointed with the defeat, Denbigh could feel satisfied for giving Saints a good contest and be especially proud of their fairy tale run to the final.
Denbigh Town: Elliot Power, Joe Freeman, Anthony Williams, Tony Davies (Dan Lloyd 46), Sam Tate, Kristian Pierce, Mark Roberts, Dave Macintyre (Paul Hart 72), Warren Duckett (Michael Cronshaw 80), Matty Hughes, Mike Sharples. Unused subs: Sam Lewis, Conner Jones, Jack Rowlands, Sam Jones.
The New Saints: Paul Harrison, Christian Seargeant, Jamie Mullan, Chris Marriott, Kai Edwards, Adrian Cieslewicz (Scott Quigley 80), Simon Spender, Michael Wilde, Connell Rawlinson, Aeron Edwards (Danny Gosset 80), Matthew Williams (Greg Draper 86). Unused subs: Ryan Edwards, Phil Baker, Ryan Price, Andy Wycherley.