RHYL manager Eddie Maurice-Jones lauded his side’s first half display after they secured a 3-1 win at Gresford Athletic.

The Lilywhites moved up to second in the JD Cymru North standings with their second consecutive league success, and they will be hoping to take their recent impressive form into their JD Welsh Cup first round clash at home to Llangefni Town on Saturday (2.30pm).

Maurice-Jones, said: “It was a great first half and we were clinical in the final third which was very pleasing.

“I thought we were very solid defensively although one set piece let us down. We knew they were going to throw bodies at us in the second half which they did, but the lads dug deep and did well, even though they could have been a bit better and shown more composure with the ball to see the game out.

“There were some lovely phases of passing, especially in the first half, and we always try and set them up for them to use their imagination and when you have so many creative players they go and do things and try and make things happen off their own back which is great to see.”

James Murphy and Arek Piskorski both missed chance for the away side during the opening exchanges of the encounter, with Steve Thomas flashing an attempt wide after a barnstorming individual run.

They were made to pay for their early inefficiency in front of goal on 18 minutes when a free-kick from former Lilies’ full-back Joe Culshaw was diverted in by in-form forward Jake Eyre to break the deadlock in the hosts’ favour.

This was met by a swift response from the visitors, who restored parity to the score line on 21 minutes when Danny Sullivan turned in a chance following a corner, and they almost went ahead when Piskorski forced Ben Jones into a smart stop with 37 on the clock.

The away side managed to get their noses in front for the first time on 39 minutes when a superb Cai Owen delivery was finished off by former Gresford striker Sam Molyneux for his sixth league goal in seven starts this term.

They pulled further clear shortly before the interval when a sublime ball from Murphy sent Piskorski through, and the Cefn Druids loanee made no mistake with the finish to net a third on 42 minutes.

After the break saw Murphy and Molyneux force Jones into more action during the opening quarter, but Athletic had a golden chance to get themselves back into the game when Eyre was felled in the box by Thomas.

The same player dusted himself off to take the spot kick but was denied by the post and the danger was averted.

Visiting custodian Keighan Jones played a huge part in his side’s victory, making some crucial saves late on to keep their title challenge on track.