Gary O Toole(4)
Llanrhaeder ym Mochnant FC Scorers
Plucky Visitors Swamped By Quay
Gary O'Toole lept to the top of the Huws Gray Alliance scoring charts with a typical four-goal haul as Nomads demolished newly-promoted side Llanrhaeadr Ym Mochnant to go joint-top of the table.
The village visitors came to Deeside enjoying a four match unbeaten run which included a recent 5-2 success at Ruthin and looking forward to playing on a fine surface under the lights. Unfortunately, their visit coincided with a determined performance by the hosts looking to overturn as much of Rhyl's present goal advantage as possible.
Danny Forde captained the side in the absence of rested skipper Craig Jones while both John Rushton, in goal, and Jack Rowlands retained their places. Alan Hooley came in for his first game of the campaign.
Nomads' intentions were clear from the start for as early as the very first minute wing-back Ben Collins was almost through on goal before the ball was hacked clear. Two minutes later, however, Jamie Petrie stole in at the far post to convert O'Toole's downward header from a Rob Jones cross to open the scoring.
Jones then put a 25 yard free kick over the bar before O'Toole scored the first of his quartet in the 12th minute. This time Petrie returned the compliment crossing for the striker to head home under pressure from 'keeper Darren Powell.
James McIntosh headed over from a Danny Forde cross while a quick throw found O'Toole in space but the no.9 fired just wide of Powell's left-hand post. The visitors made a brief foray into the home penalty area on 26 minutes and almost pulled a goal back when, following a goalmouth melee, a shot struck Jack Rowlands' heel and was cleared.
McIntosh and Jones both went close with shots from some distance before Nomads added a third goal in the 34th minute. Dan Kelly was booked for a foul on Petrie and Jones played the free-kick square across the box to O'Toole who completely missed his kick but player-manager Mark McGregor was on hand to fire home.
Llanrhaeadr tried hard to stem the flow and Jamie Evans had a chance after Andy Alston lost possession but McGregor quickly closed Evans down. Then, four minutes before the interval, Rob Jones scored a superb goal to put the overworked visitors out of reach. Collecting the ball on a run towards the 18 yard area, Jones played a neat one-two with McGregor before sending the ball sweetly into the bottom corner of the net.
Indeed, there was still time for the home side to go nap before half-time when hesitation in the Llanrhaeadr defence allowed O'Toole the chance to nick the ball only for 'keeper Powell to take his legs from under him. Nomads' leading forward was quick to his feet and sent the custodian the wrong way from the spot for his second strike of the evening to reach double figures for the campaign.
James McIntosh was at the centre of a number of Nomads attacks after the interval but he was left frustrated in the 57th minute when his header from a Petrie corner cleared the bar. Yet just a minute later the former Airbus and Buckley Town hitman had his name on the scoresheet, striding past two defenders before planting a firm shot into the Llanrhaeadr net as Nomads reached their third six-goal haul of the season.
He almost doubled his tally within two minutes, latching onto a long clearance from John Rushton before lobbing the onrushing goalkeeper from 25 yards out but the ball sailed over the bar.
Llanrhaeadr's first real shot of the game came on 67 minutes when Alun Jones beat Rushton's outstretched arm only to see the ball roll wide of the target. Sixty seconds later normal service was resumed when Forde blasted a shot which Powell did well to turn around the post and, from the resultant corner, substitute Iwan Williams saw his header cleared off the line.
O'Toole secured his hat-trick in the 72nd minute heading home from another testing Petrie cross and three minutes later Shaun Roscoe, who had replaced Hooley in midfield, believed he had scored direct from a corner but the assistant referee thought otherwise.
Nomads were now in rampant form and, in a manner in which we are now accustomed to, attempted to increase their winning margin. O'Toole rounded the 'keeper but could only find the side netting, Iwan Williams put a 25-yard effort wide then had a goal disallowed for offside before O'Toole ended the match with his fourth goal and Nomads' eighth a minute from time.
This time it was teenage substitute Jordan Beck who won two tackles out on the right wing before sending a through ball to O'Toole in the visitors penalty area. There looked to be little danger but the lethal striker turned away from goal before swivelling and striking a left-footed shot across Powell for an exquisite finish to proceedings.
It was a difficult and chastening night for the village minnows yet, as the second half progressed, they came more into the game and caused some problems for Nomads' back four, but the hosts proved far too powerful in attack and produced another memorable display of high scoring to enter next weekend's visit to Cefn Druids in fine spirits.
NOMADS: John Rushton, Jack Rowlands, Ben Collins, Mark McGregor, Andy Alston, Alan Hooley (Shaun Roscoe 72'), Jamie Petrie (Jordan Beck 75'), Danny Forde, Gary OToole, James McIntosh, Rob Jones (Iwan Williams 65').
Substitutes not used: Craig Jones, George Baxter.