Town progress into Round 2 of Cookson Cup after extra time win over local rivals.
Holywell Town entertained Denbigh Town for the second time in less than a week in this first round tie against rivals Denbigh Town, and as expected, the game lived up to its expectations.
Played in front of a good crowd, both teams had a couple of early chances but the game didn’t come to life until the 15th minute as Denbigh’s John Slater chased a ball and as Danny Stanton gathered the ball , he went in hard and a few thought he had stamped on Town’s shot stopper but referee James Walker consulted his Assistant then brandished the yellow card. A few minutes later, a great through ball which split the Denbigh defence by Paul Williams was only a little to far ahead of Steve Thomas who had made a great run to chase after the ball.
On the half hour mark, Denbigh Town won a free kick in a dangerous position and Owain Roberts took it but his kick was a little too hard for the tall attackers and the ball went out for a goal kick. A few minutes later, Denbigh won another free kick, this time to the right of the goal and Liam Jones' powerful shot hit the Holywell wall and rebounded to safety. Holywell’s Paul Williams then fouled Kristian Pierce and out came the handbags and there were a few words exchanged by both sets of players and Paul Williams was booked for the challenge. Steve Thomas went on another run at the Denbigh defence and was brought down by Danny Jellicoe and from the resulting free kick, Matty Roberts effort went wide. Holywell very nearly took the lead on the stroke of half time, Paul Williams flicked the ball over the defence and Ian Griffiths chased and tapped the ball over the oncoming Jamie Hulse in the Denbigh goal but the ball fell agonisingly just passed the upright and went out for a goal kick.
The tempo of the second half was just as fast as the first and Denbigh were first out of the blocks with JOhn Slater going close and Stanton was glad to see it creep past the post and Liam Jones saw an effort fly over the bar. Holywell’s Graeme Williams and Ian Griffiths combined well but Griffiths’ shot went wide before Danny Sullivan brought out a good save from Hulse before Hulse was once again Denbigh’s hero saving well from Ian Griffiths. The Wellmen were getting the upper hand now and a ball through the middle for Griffiths to chase was touched out by Liam Jones for a corner despite Griffiths’ presence.
Denbigh’s Andy Swarbick then saw a cross just too high for John Slater and Tom Sharples to attack then Steve Thomas nearly broke the deadlock for Wellmen. Roebuck passed the ball through the defence for Steve Thomas who ran at Hulse. Thomas took the ball passed Hulse and under pressure from the defenders, Steve took a shot but with the defenders slowing him down, it gave Hulse the chance to get back on his feet and was able to tap Steve’s effort out for a corner. From Matty Roberts’ corner, sub Marc Gunther saw his powerful header just fly inches past the post with the goalkeeper well beaten.
A few minutes later, Denbigh broke down the right and John Slater took as shot which Stanton saved but Town’s goalkeeper could not prevent the ball from going out for a corner. From the corner, Denbigh’s Mark Orme's shot went wide of the target. Steve Thomas then went on another good run which the defender knocked out for a corner before Ashley Durham rose well and his header was brilliantly saved by Hulse or it would have been a last minute winner for the Wellmen.
After 90 minutes the scores remained 0-0 and 30 minutes of extra time was to be played. Denbigh started the better of the two teams and John Slater and Andy Swarbick both had good shots saved by Danny Stanton. Jamie Hulse was next into action, saving at the feet of Ian Griffiths before Steve Thomas passed to Ian Griffiths who had to watch as Hulse saved his shot again. Both teams had a few chances but couldn’t convert so the scores remained 0-0 going into the second period of extra time.
On 106 minutes, Marc Gunther saw his cross knocked out by Liam Jones for a corner and a few minutes later, Steve Thomas got round the keeper but the defenders were on hand to challenge and Thomas was unable to get his shot in. Then came the goal which saw Holywell go through to the next round. Ian Griffiths won a corner and up stepped Matty Roberts to take the kick and he floated it into the box and Ashley Durham rose above the Denbigh defender who was marking him and his powerful header flew into the goal to mark wild celebrations both on and off the field and the goal capped a great solid performance by Durham.
Couple of minutes later, Denbigh had an effort which went over the bar and another which was just a bit to fast for the oncoming attacker before Griffiths nearly doubled Town’s lead but dragged his shot inches wide of Hulse’s post. Tom Carney made a great run down the left and crossed for Steve Thomas but he was unable to control the ball as he would have liked and the defender was able to get a challenge in to prevent him shooting.
James Walker then blew for full time and after a pulsating game, it was Holywell Town who once again saw their name go into the hat for the next round, just like it did on Saturday. The Wellmen have now had two cup victories over Denbigh in a week and confidence will be high going into the next game at Llandudno Junction in the FAW Trophy. The lads should be proud of themselves and didn’t give up for the whole 120 minutes and the desire to win was plain for all to see. Roll on the next match!