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Aberystwyth Town FC vs Connah's Quay Nomads
JD Welsh Cup
Sunday 6th May 2018 | 2:45pm
Match played at Latham Park, Newtown | Attendance: 1455
Connah’s Quay Nomads were crowned JD Welsh Cup champions for the first time in the club’s history on Sunday afternoon.
Goals from Michael Bakare, Michael Wilde and Andy Owens sealed the cup win over Aberystwyth Town, whose sole goal was scored by Ryan Wade.
The Nomads came into the game looking to exonerate their Welsh Cup demons, having last reached the final in 1998. In that game, a late equaliser and eventual penalty shootout from Bangor City saw The Nomads lose out in cruel fashion. But after a stunning JD Welsh Cup run including a quarter final win over TNS and a 6-1 victory over Bangor, Andy Morrison’s side had the chance to finally lift the trophy.
The likes of Jay Owen, George Horan and Kai Edwards started to give The Nomads a typically well organised line up with Michael Wilde leading the line. Aberystwyth Town gave starts to Declan Walker, Malcolm Melvin and Ryan Wade.
The Black and Greens had been preparing for the final with help from their director of football Neville Powell, the vastly experienced former Nomads' manager who guided Bangor City to three consecutive Welsh Cup wins.
In front of a crowd of more than 1,400 at Newtown’s Latham Park, the game kicked off with both sets of supporters creating a great cup final atmosphere. After a cagey opening five minutes it was Aberystwyth who first threatened, when a Declan Walker cross swung close to the goal on eight minutes.
But Nomads were soon in the Aberystwyth end as on 12 minutes Michael Bakare, who had scored in each previous round of the Nomads’ JD Welsh Cup campaign, sent an angled shot just wide from seven yards.
Bakare continued his sensational scoring run in the 22nd minute, when a John Danby kick evaded the Aberystwyth back line allowing him to bypass the keeper and slot the ball in the net from close range.
Boosted by their lead Nomads instantly attacked again and were immediately rewarded, as Michael Wilde headed home a Declan Poole corner on 25 minutes to give his side a commanding 2-0 lead.
The Nomads were in control and dealing with attacks from Aberystwyth well, whilst Bakare and Ryan Wignall’s blistering pace was having great effect on the right and left wings.
The Nomads’ third came when Michael Wilde broke through on goal from the left wing in the 39th minute, and slotted coolly between the legs of goalkeeper Chris Mullock from 10 yards out.
A 3-0 scoreline at half time looked sealed, but Nomads found their clean sheet taken from them just before the interval as Ryan Wade scored from an Aberystwyth corner to give his side a lifeline going into the second half.
On one of the hottest days of the year Nomads kept their cool to put on a controlled and professional performance in the second half.
In the 50th minute Aberystwyth got into the Nomads’ area, but a header attempt on goal was dealt with by John Danby.
With over an hour played Nomads had their 3-1 lead intact but were working hard to keep Aberystwyth at bay as they looked to mount a comeback.
There was drama in the 64th minute, when a run and strike from Malcolm Melvin rattled the Nomads’ crossbar from 20 yards out. The strike bounced off the crossbar and then off the goal line, with referee Iwan Griffith ruling that the ball had not crossed the line.
Michael Bakare looked to reply to Aberystwyth’s close chance with one of his own, as he broke free on goal from seven yards out only to have his effort cleared off the line by a defender.
With 20 minutes to play Nomads looked to maintain their hold on the proceedings, replacing Michael Wilde with Andy Owens. There was pressure from Aberystwyth in the 76th minute as they won three successive corner kicks, but all were dealt with by Nomads.
Nathan Woolfe then replaced Ryan Wignall as Nomads looked to see out the game’s remaining ten minutes.
With time running out Aberystwyth kept up their bid for a comeback, shooting wide from 18 yards on 88 minutes after an aerial ball was headed away by George Horan, who enjoyed an ever-strong individual performance as Nomads’ captain.
With a minimum of four minutes injury time to be played, Andy Owens wrote himself into the history books by all but confirming Nomads as JD Welsh Cup champions 2017/18.
Receiving the ball on the edge of the Aberystwyth area via a Sean Smith assist, he turned to strike from 10 yards out and scored despite Mullock getting a hand to the effort.
Match report by Will Catterall
Nomads' captain and Man-of-the-Match, George Horan lifts the Welsh Cup for the first time in the club's history - © NCM Media
Nomads fans and academy players mob the winning squad at full time - © NCM Media
Michael Bakare rounds Chris Mullock before giving The Nomads' the lead - © NCM Media
Michael Wilde celebrates his first goal of the game - © NCM Media
Andy Owens strikes to secure The Nomads 4-1 victory - © NCM Media
1. John Danby
3. Kai Edwards
5. George Horan
2. Mike Pearson
15. Sean Smith
6. Danny Harrison
7. Ryan Wignall
12. Declan Poole
16. Jay Owen
22. Michael Bakare
9. Michael Wilde
28. Jon Rushton
4. Jonny Spittle
10. Andy Owens
11. Nathan Woolfe
21. Rob Hughes
The Nomads' Goalscorers
Michael Wilde (2)