Rhyl FC
Rhyl FC
The Lilywhites

Match Preview - Ruthin Town v Rhyl 10.2.2018

09 February 2018

The Lilywhites will be making the short journey South down the A525 to Ruthin on Saturday afternoon for a 2pm match at the Memorial Playing Fields in the Huws Gray Alliance. Rhyl will be looking to put behind them the disappointing draw last weekend at home to Penrhyncoch when they face a Ruthin side returning to league action after their JD Welsh Cup heroics a fortnight ago against Llandudno.  As of Friday afternoon the pitch was in good condition and is expected to be playable for Saturday.

For Matthew Jones’ side the focus will need to be on building momentum for the remainder of the season and pushing for a top 3 finish ensuring pressure is put on the teams at the top. Whilst Jordan Barrow would have been missing due to his red card against Penrhyncoch, it has been confirmed this week that Jordan has left the club to make the trip down under to play in Australia. All at the club wish Jordan well for his time down under. With Barrow’s absence, the starting XI will be reshuffled and Tom Walsh is expected to return to the match day squad.

Last weekend Matthew Jones was far from happy with the team’s performance, and in particular their failure to convert their possession into clear chances. Jones added “We’ve sat down this week as a management team and really analysed our game in terms of how we use the ball and where we feel our strengths are in terms of breaking teams down. We’ve been through a few bits and pieces with the lads in training on Tuesday and now we are looking to see it in action. We know that this is going to be a very tough test, not only has Chris Williams got a very talented group of players at his disposal but he has created a winning atmosphere amongst his players. It’s our job to ensure they don’t generate any momentum in the game.”

Recent Form

The Denbighshire side are having a good season as they currently are placed 10th in the League comfortably clear of the relegation zone. In particular they have had a great season in the JD Welsh Cup. A 4-0 win at Meliden was followed by a 3-2 win after extra time against Wrexham area league leaders Brickfield Rangers. Their reward for reaching the 3rd round was a trip to Prestatyn Town and they defeated our neighbours 3-0 in one of the shocks of the round. They bowed out of the competition last weekend losing 4-3 after extra time against Llandudno after leading 2-1 with 5 minutes of normal time to go.

So far they have a 100% record in matches against teams from Denbighshire this season. This includes derby day wins home and away against Denbigh Town, a 1-0 win at the Corbett Sports Stadium in mid-September, plus their JD Welsh Cup wins against Prestatyn Town and Meliden. This means that they have won 5 out of 5 against their County rivals.

Their league form has seen them pick up ten points from the last six games with wins against local rivals Denbigh Town on Boxing Day, Guilsfield and FC Queens Park. Defeats at Gresford and Holywell and a 2-2 draw at home against Porthmadog represents good form and the spirited team which contain the majority of players local to the Ruthin area are likely to prove difficult opponents for Rhyl next weekend.

Previous visits

Our previous spell in the Huws Gray Alliance saw three visits to Ruthin. The first came in December 2010 and a 4-1 win in front of 161 supporters. A double from Chris Williams in the first half and goals from substitutes from Stuart Rudd and Scott Beckett earned the win. The following season saw a visit in March 2012 as Rhyl attempted to chase down leaders Connah’s Quay and this time a 3-1 win was secured. The scorers in front of 263 supporters were Stefan Halewood, Scott Beckett and Dave Forbes. In the 2012/13 title winning season it was a September visit to Ruthin and this time a 3-2 win. Goals from Paul McManus and a Tom Rowlands double put Rhyl in command in the first half before the visitors pulled 2 back in front of a crowd of 185.

Since our last visit to Ruthin a couple of changes have taken place. The first one is that the goalposts have been moved, literally. The pitch has been changed by 90 degrees so that the small stand is parallel to the pitch rather than behind one goal. Secondly to ensure they meet the Tier 2 criteria for next season works started before Christmas to extend the existing stand and build a second one the other side of the dug outs.  This work is nearing completion.

Parking at the ground is limited so the public pay and display car park near the garage is a good option for those making the 19 mile journey.