Llanrwst United 1 (S Jones pen 50)
Denbigh Town 2 (Pierce 51, Davey 75)
Report: Iwan Jones
One of the most hotly-anticipated matches of the season so far in North Wales football saw Denbigh end Llanrwst’s nine-match unbeaten record with a hard-earned victory at Gwydir Park on Sunday.
A superb strike from Kristian Pierce and a powerful header by substitute Lee Davey gave Town the three points in this tense, edgy game against a talented Roosters side who were buoyant after their 2-0 win over highly-ranked Porthmadog earlier in the week.
This was only Denbigh’s second league match of the new season after being heavily involved in cup ties and they were keen to make up for their loss on penalties last week in the FAW Trophy at Penrhyndeudraeth.
The first half saw Denbigh have the majority of possession, but they were unable to find the end product.
Pierce’s volley flew just over the bar before Llanrwst came into the game and when Callum Parry was played through into the penalty area Town keeper Joe Griffith had to have his wits about him to thwart the prolific striker.
The second half saw the game burst into life on 50 minutes when Stuart Jones was adjudged to have brought down Parry inside the penalty area and referee Arwyn Griffiths pointed to the spot.
Ex-Denbigh striker Sam Jones stepped up to fire home and give the hosts the lead.
A minute later it was all-square – and what a goal the equaliser was.
Billy Holmes went on a jinking run from his own half and approached the Llanrwst penalty area. He laid the ball off towards Will Ashley who fed into the path of Pierce, and ne let rip a screamer of a shot which flew into the net from 20 yards giving keeper Gwydion Owen no chance.
The game was now up for grabs.
Both sides had chances before with 75 minutes played full-back Matty Morris sent in a great first touch cross from the right wing to the centre of the penalty box which was powerfully headed in by substitute Davey.
Llanrwst replied with non-stop pressure and on 89 minutes Griffith made a match-saving stunning stop, diving low to his left-hand side.
As the game entered its fifth minute of injury time Moses Barnett made a superb tackle to thwart yet another Llanrwst goal-scoring opportunity from within his penalty box.
Gwydion Owen, Math Thomas, Gruffydd ap Gwyndaf, Christopher Nicolson, Chris Beardmore, Sion Sullivan, Thomas Jones, Cynan Edwards, Sam Jones, Leighton Griffiths, Callum Parry: Subs: Gwyn Jones, Gruffudd Evans, Kyle Kelly, Hedd Williams, Benn Lundstram
Joe Griffith, Matty Morris, Stuart Jones, Moses Barnett, Billy Holmes, Paul Fleming , Leigh Craven, Will Ashley, Kristian Pierce, Sam Jones, Jacob Barratt: Subs: Jake Walker, Sam Tate, Lee Davey, Mark Roberts
Referee – Arwyn Griffiths
Assistant – Charley Louise Smith
Assistant – Thomas Burge