Cefn Druids AFC
JD Welsh Premier League
|26.12.17 | 2:30pm|
Connah’s Quay Nomads came out victorious against Cefn Druids with a 1-0 Boxing Day victory at The Rock in the JD Welsh Premier League.
The Nomads entered the game in high festive spirits, as they had previously beaten Newtown 4-0 in a strong performance at their Deeside Stadium home.
Such was the Nomads’ strength on that night, Andy Morrison named an unchanged lineup with Michael Bakare, Michael Wilde and Ryan Wignall all starting.
Cefn Druids, who were gunning to seal a place in the top six of the JD Welsh Premier League before the league split, started Naim Arsan and Alec Mudimu with former Nomad Ashley Ruane on the bench.
The first significant chance of the game went to Druids, who had a shot from the edge of the area blocked before a follow up effort was saved by the left leg of goalkeeper John Danby.
The Nomads pressed in reply to this, with a Michael Bakare corner and free kick from 40 yards seeing Connah’s Quay into the Druids’ area but without a major goalscoring opportunity.
After the first 10 minutes of the game in which the game was even, Ryan Wignall opened the scoring in style with a great individual goal. He cut in from the right wing into a busy Druids area, and evaded all defenders to slot low into the bottom left corner.
But Druids responded to this goal with spells of serious pressure, as they nearly equalised just a minute later when Mudimu crossed to Pritchard who shot wide from the edge of Nomads’ area.
John Danby needed to be in fine form as Druids were eager to test him at every opportunity, but the Nomads keeper was undeterred and pulled off an excellent performance.
And the Connah’s Quay defence was just as vital, seen when George Horan and Mike Pearson made a last ditch block to deny a Druids header towards goal on 33 minutes. They paid a price as they both received treatment for head injuries having clashed while protecting their clean sheet.
In the 36th minute, goalscorer Ryan Wignall sent a low cross into the Druids box, which was nearly converted by Jay Owen, the but the Nomads’ midfielder couldn’t get under the ball properly and sent his effort over.
After John Danby denied Lewis Buckley at close range, it looked as if Nomads were heading in at half time in a strong position. However, they were dealt a blow as Ryan Wignall was shown a straight red card for dissent towards the referee Huw Jones.
Cefn Druids came into the second half with the same tenacious attitude they showed in the first, again going close to an equaliser in the 52nd minute only to be again stopped by a close range John Danby save.
Just before the hour mark, Danby again showed his goalkeeping prowess as he saved a 15 yard effort with a one-handed stop.
Whilst the game was naturally a defensive one for the 10-men Nomads, they did threaten on the break with Michael Bakare making a good run into the Druids area, before being tackled, on 62 minutes.
Michael Wilde nearly caught Druids out when he took the ball from a defender in the Druids’ final third, passing for Morris who was then tackled before he could create a clear cut chance.
Druids’ substitute Jonathan Taylor wasted a clear chance to equalise with 20 minutes left to play as he scooped a shot over right in front of the Nomads’ goal.
The Nomads’ professional, defensive performance continued into the latter stages of the game, with the likes of George Horan putting in a commanding role to ensure Druids’ opportunities were limited.
Ex-Nomad Ashley Ruane came on for Druids and shot low towards the Nomads’ bottom right corner on 77 minutes, but Danby was on hand to push it out for a corner.
In the 85th minute Taylor of Druids again went close, but was once more bettered by Danby who stopped him with a low save. Druids went close again one minute later, but became increasingly frustrated as their much sought after goal wasn’t coming.
Nomads then replaced Michael Bakare and Declan Poole in the hope that the addition of fresh legs could help push Nomads to the finish line with their clean sheet intact.
After John Danby clashed heads while raising to catch his umpteenth Druids cross, the fourth official indicated for a minimum of five minutes injury time.
With an extra five minutes in their favour, Druids continued to assault the Nomads’ end, sending a 35 yard free kick just wide of Danby’s left post.
After Sean Smith was replaced by Joe Heath, Druids’ final chance in the 94th minute was sent wide of goal by Naim Arsan.
Full time was confirmed and Nomads could reflect on a hard earned victory in which they had played more than 50 minutes with just ten men.
Thanks to Llandudno’s 0-0 draw against Bangor, the result sends Nomads to second in the JD Welsh Premier League table.
The Nomads are in action again on Friday evening as they welcome Cefn Druids to Deeside for the return festive fixture for a 7:45pm kick off.