CPD Y Rhyl 1879 FC paid its respects to former stadium manager Dave Jackson before seeing off Penmaenmawr Phoenix in a comprehensive 8-0 win on Saturday (January 8).

Just prior to kick-off, all in attendance showed their appreciation and respect with a minute’s applause for Mr Jackson, who died last week after a long illness.

The Lilywhites took to the Belle Vue turf for the first time in 2022 and competitively for several weeks, with a reduced capacity of only 50 fans, in line with COVID-19 regulations.

Once the referee started the game, the hosts took just seven minutes to break the deadlock, with central midfielder Elliot Evans punishing the Phoenix defence from the edge of the box with a left-footed strike.

Then, in the 19th minute, up stepped in-form striker Kieran Ellis to fire the first of his five goals by finding the bottom left corner with a ferocious strike leaving the visiting goalkeeper with no chance.

The powerful forward soon grabbed his second of the game with a thunderous effort to the right of the goalkeeper, making it 3-0 after 36 minutes.

Ellis completed his hat trick eight minutes later with a cushioned header into the bottom right corner after some great work from Casey Faulkner on the right-hand side, delivering a pinpoint cross to ensure the Lilywhites made it 4-0.

Ellis then grabbed his fourth goal of the game in the 45th minute, taking them into the break 5-0 to the good in a convincing first half.

The home side started as they left off in the second half, as Ellis grabbed his fifth goal of the game, this time latching on to a long diagonal cross by captain Reece Fairhurst and heading into the bottom right-hand corner of the Penmaenmawr goal.

Former Everton academy player Leon Atkins then introduced himself into the game with a quick-fire brace, firstly latching onto a deflected shot making no mistake firing past the visiting keeper.

Atkins’ second goal came after some fantastic work from returning forward Macauley Taylor on the right, sending over an excellent cross for substitute Atkins to slot home.

The 8-0 win ensured the Lilywhites’ unbeaten run extended to their last 11 competitive fixtures.

Manager Gareth Thomas said: “I’m delighted with the performance; the attitude from the players has been excellent.

“Kieran Ellis was formidable today, but the overall team performance was fantastic demonstrated by a clean sheet against a very good team.”

Next up for the Lilywhites is fellow promotion hopefuls Prestatyn Sports at Belle Vue on Saturday, January 15, with a 2pm kick-off.

John Hughes-Jones, a member of the CPD Y Rhyl 1879 committee, paid tribute to Mr Jackson, an “incredibly modest and likeable man”, which can be read in full at: www.rhyljournal.co.uk/news/19831419.tributes-paid-incredibly-modest-likeable-former-rhyl-fc-stadium-manager.