FC Shakhtyor Soligorsk
UEFA Europa League
|19.07.18 | 8:00pm|
Thursday night will see Connah's Quay Nomads face Shakhtyor Soligorsk in the second leg of the UEFA Europa League First Qualifying Round at the Stroitel Stadium.
While potash mines surround the local vicinity, forming mountains of mined minerals, there is another mountain facing The Nomads, who trail 3-1 from the first leg at Rhyl last Thursday night. While The Nomads dominated the game for large portions, it was Soligorsk's ruthlessness in front of goal which saw them take a big step towards the Second Qualifying Round and a likely tie with Polish side, Lech Poznan. Having just five attempts on target in the 90 minutes, the Belarussian's were able to convert three of their chances through goals from Max Ebong, Albanian International Elis Bakaj and Belarusian U21 startlet, Mikhail Shibun.
The Nomads' late lifeline came thanks to Callum Morris who converted his spot kick in the 89th minute following a foul on George Horan in the box. It was Morris' second European goal for The Nomads following his match-winning strike against Stabæk in 2016, and while it may seem a tall ask, The Nomads have often risen to the ocassion when required - in Andy Morrison's first months at the club, a previously unbeaten TNS came to Deeside with The Nomads needing a win to secure Top Six football after the league split, and thanks to goals from Les Davies and Callum Morris, we secured a 2-0 victory and that place in the Top Six. Most recently, we only have to think back to the dramatic 2-1 victory over Cefn Druids having been reduced to nine men and a goal down, a miraculous comebck saw Callum Morris and Michael Bakare secure one of the most memorable comebacks in recent Welsh Premier League history.
Ahead of the journey to Belarus, Andy Morrison said "Obviously, last week's result makes it very difficult to progress in Europe. Although the result does not reflect the way the game went in any way, the reality is that we have a huge task ahead to progress. What we must do is go into the game with the same intensity and desire as last Thursday - where we were excellent in so many areas. We must believe that if we play as well as we did, there is no reason why we can't go to Soligorsk and win the game."
The Nomads travel out to Belarus on Tuesday morning and will train on Wednesday before the vital clash on Thursday evening. The game kicks off at 8:00pm Belarusian time (6:00pm UK time) and will be covered as always by our Twitter account. Our counterparts at Shakhtyor Soligorsk have informed us that they are hoping to broadcast the game, so should a live stream become available, you can find that on our social media channels ahead of kick off. We will also be covering the build up to the game as always through our social media channels, which this past week reached over 1.39 million users, so make sure that you check back regularly for all the latest build up and information ahead of kick off.