HUWS GRAY ALLIANCE
PRESTATYN TOWN 1-3 DENBIGH TOWN
For such a significant result, it wasn’t so much about Prestatyn finally buckling in the aftermath of a heartbreaking Welsh Cup exit as it was about a Denbigh side rejuvinated by Eddie Maurice Jones delivering a stellar performance that belied much of their form in the first half of the season.
The Seasiders – still two wins away from being crowned Huws Gray Alliance champions – had to adapt and kick on quickly after the disappointment of losing on penalties on Saturday night. Perhaps, in the event, it was too soon before they could properly defend their 23 game unbeaten run in the league.
Tricky conditions at Bastion Gardens were bound to figure as Prestatyn graduate Jon Hill Dunt denied James Stead and Jack Kenny early on – but at the other end, Andrew Swarbrick found it too easy to round keeper Carl Jones and hand Denbigh the lead on 18 minutes.
A sloppy pass from Reece Fairhurst nearly gifted the visitors goal number two soon after with the hosts unable to recover from such an unlikely yet nervy start. Denbigh were in control – and despite a contentious linesman’s call for a foul on Jack Kenny, it was Alan Bull who made the most of it on 39 minutes.
As the weather deteriorated, so did Prestatyn’s resolve after the break. Swarbrick turned provider with a dummy ball to set up Craig Pritchard for Denbigh’s third on the hour, immediately prompting Prestatyn manager Neil Gibson into a double substitute.
Jordan Davies – perhaps surprisingly on the bench as Prestatyn collapsed – put waste to a free kick after a bad foul from Nathan Williams, before finally converting a penalty to beat Hill Dunt with a quarter of an hour.
But all looked won and lost already – Denbigh still kept up the chances while the best the Seasiders offered was a 35 yard chancer from Alec Williams, and in stoppage time, a goalbound effort from Noah Edwards just cleared away by Nathan Williams.
Whether Prestatyn had been swept up in another Welsh Cup hangover is open to question – but at least with the title so close in sight, the dramatic end to an unbeaten run stretching back to August will be much less of a blow.
The night belonged to Denbigh Town – who in full celebration mode, admitted post-match that it has been a difficult campaign at Central Park with one very difficult decision. Based on tonight and their uplift in form, that decision could be one that will set them up in very good stead.