Cymru North – Ruthin topple the leaders, but it’s late heartbreak for 10-man Prestatyn

Conwy Borough and Prestatyn Town (blue) in action. Picture: Alun Roberts/FAW

JD Cymru North reports – Saturday, January 22, 2022

Conwy Borough 2 (Jones pen 29, Lockley 90+7)
Prestatyn Town 1 (Sharkey 73)

As first games go for a new pair of interim-managers, this one could not have been more dramatic.

Although Prestatyn lost to a 97th minute goal at Y Morfa, the men in charge of the Seasiders, John Barnes and Andrew Ruscoe, could not have been more proud.

A team thrown together in just two weeks played their hearts out and so nearly came away with a point.

Rob Jones takes a penalty for Conwy. Picture: Alun Roberts/FAW)

In a thrilling encounter, Town trailed 1-0 at half time to a penalty, kept out two spot-kicks, had their keeper sent off, scored a late equaliser and conceded a deciding goal way into overtime.

Joint interim-boss Ruscoe, who revealed next weekend’s home game against Penrhyncoch will be his farewell, said: “The lads today were tremendous despite losing in the 97th minute of the game. They gave Barney, myself, the management team and our brilliant fans their all.

Conwy’s Mason Blackwell-Jones (tangerine) takes on his former club. Prestatyn’s Ashley Dale tries to stop him advancing. Picture: Alun Roberts/FAW

“Today’s game had everything – passion, desire, belief and drama. It was an old-fashioned Welsh football match at its very best. The way I like it.

“Today I saw nothing but leaders on that pitch,who would go through walls to win that ball. I am just so gutted that it ended the way it did because the lads deserved to come away with a point.

“Even Conwy’s director of football Andy Nelson, a gentleman I look up to, came into our dressing room, congratulated our lads and told us that we all should be very proud of ourselves.

“I don’t want to name players for any stand-out performance because the whole squad played like a very organised war machine. They were incredible every single one of them.

“Next week is my final game in charge and I am begging the community of Prestatyn to come out in force, get behind these men who don’t play for money, who don’t hold this club ransom to play a game of football on a Saturday and please get behind a group of lads who will literally give you every sweat, blood and tear for their new-found family members.”

Ruscoe added: “I want to thank every fan and volunteer who came to Conwy today, I can only apologise that we didn’t get over the line this week but next week I want to bow out of your beautiful club with 3 points and go back to normal life knowing full well that Barney and myself have created, not a football team full of mercenaries but a club of soldiers, a family who would die for one another.

It was a baptism of fire for Prestatyn Town replacement goalkeeper Callum Roberts. Picture: Alun Roberts/FAW

“I truly believe we have done that and results are going to happen. I just hope that starts on Saturday.

“That, ladies and gentleman, is your new Prestatyn Town squad, a family of hungry lads proud to wear the badge and play the game we all love.”

Rob Jones put Conwy ahead with a 29th minute penalty.

Boro earned another spot-kick six minutes later, but this time veteran Prestatyn keeper and captain Richard Cowderoy, formerly of Cammell Laird and Marine, saved from Jones.

In a highly-competitive second half, it remained 1-0 until in the 73rd minute Conwy keeper Rory Crowther was unable to hold a long ball into the box and Dave Sharkey bravely pounced to score the equaliser.

Cory Williams (tangerine) attacks for Conwy. Picture: Alun Roberts/FAW

Boro were desperate to grab a late win and sent on experienced strikers Corrig McGonigle and Cory Williams in the dying minutes in an attempt to nab a goal.

Keeper Cowderoy was then dismissed for dissent, the hosts were awarded a penalty, but substitute glovesman Callum Roberts saved from McGonigle with 89 on the clock.

Surely Prestatyn had secured a point now….but no, in the 97th minute Ben Lockley struck from close range after Roberts could not grasp a free kick.


Conwy Borough: Rory Crowther, Ben Lockley, Harry Lockley, Iolo Hughes, Sean McCaffery, Conor Davies, Mason Blackwell-Jones, Rob Jones, Morgan Murray (Corrig McGonigle 88), Jack Walsh (Cory Williams 89), Kian Owen.

Prestatyn Town: Richard Cowderoy, Sean Roberts, Alex Peters, James Webb, Ben Jacobson, Ashley Dale, Seb Kidd (Callum Roberts 85), Luca Bennett, Dave Sharkey. Bruno DeSousa (Elliott Turner 45), Mamadie Sheriff (Harrison Roberts 90+1).

Ruthin Town 2 (Owen 15, Cumming 49 pen)
Airbus UK Broughton 1 (Eyre 41)

Ruthin Town chief Phil Hudson was delighted to win the league Manager of the Month award for December – and after toppling leaders Airbus on Saturday he has already made himself an early contender for the January prize!

Town’s superb run of form hit new heights as they ended the Wingmakers’ 14-match unbeaten run in the Cymru North stretching back to July.

The hosts had the first chance of the game. Matthew Hill made a break down the left and forced Lewis Dutton into an early save.

Two minutes later, Airbus striker Jake Eyre should have done better, but shot wide.

In the 15th minute, the hosts took the lead. The returning Llyr Morris made a break and found Will Owen, who slotted home from just inside the box.

The visitors had the ball in the net in the 26th minute when Eyre headed home, but the referee deemed a foul in the build up on home keeper Ryan Goldston and chalked the goal off.

Morris then struck the post before Sam Rickett’s rebound was cleared by Elliott Orton.

In the 39th minute, Adam Davies cut behind the Ruthin defence, but his shot went narrowly over the bar.

The equaliser came in the 41st minute. Eyre stole the ball midway inside the hosts half, before coolly finding his way down the flank and cutting across Daniel Cox before calmly slotting home.

Early in the second half, Ruthin were back in front. Airbus defender Gareth Edwards was shown a straight red card for a last man tackle and from the resulting penalty, Jamie Cumming gave Hudson’s men the lead.

The Wingmakers attempted to find the equaliser despite the man deficit, but the hosts held on for a famous win.

Llanidloes Town 1
Colwyn Bay 6

What a start for new Colwyn Bay manager Steve Evans – a 6-1 win in Powys!

The Seagulls hit five goals before half time and chalked up their biggest winning margin in the league since returning to Welsh football.

The Bay got off to a flying start and were 3-0 up inside 12 minutes. Sam Jones opened the scoring from a good run and cross by James Kirby on four minutes.
Then Kirby headed a second from a Robbie Parry cross before Tom McCready fired a shot into the bottom corner.

Danny Edwards scored a fourth from a Joe Williams cross and Kirby got his second right on half time.

Llanidloes were much better in the second half and after forcing a couple of good saves from Andy Coughlin they pulled a goal back with a Connor Bird penalty.

Bay had the last word when substitute and Academy product Macsen Rhys-Williams made it 6-1 in the closing minutes.

Llangefni Town 1
Llanrhaeadr-ym-Mochnant 2

Another bad day for Llangefni as they slumped to a sixth straight league defeat – this one to a close rival in the battle against relegation.

The Anglesey side also had Chris Saxon and Andy Sinclair sent off for two yellow cards.

Chris Aitken scored both Llanrhaeadr goals on 30 and 90 minutes, Josh Stanley-Williams equalising after 75.

Penrhyncoch 1
Buckley Town 0

Sixth-place Buckley had an afternoon to forget as they went down 1-0 at Cae Baker.

Josh Shaw netted the contest’s only goal on 76 minutes.


Guilsfield 0 Gresford Athletic 0
Holyhead Hotspur P Bangor City P (Bangor suspended from football)
Llandudno 0 Holywell Town 2

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