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Isle of Man FA vs Connah's Quay Nomads
Saturday 30th June 2018 | 2:30pm
The Bowl, Doulgas, Isle of Man | Attendance: 0
Connah’s Quay Nomads played out a stalemate against international opposition on Saturday afternoon, drawing 0-0 with the Isle of Man FA at the Bowl stadium in Douglas.
The game, which was part of The Nomads’ pre-Europa League programme, saw the side travel to the Island after a 2-1 victory over Crusaders FC in Northern Ireland last week.
Their opposition was the CONIFA certified Isle of Man side, who regularly play internationally classified matches against other island states across Europe.
Connah’s Quay took their full squad to the fixture for some valuable game time, with Jay Catton and Neil Gibson taking charge of the side as Andy Morrison scouted The Nomads’ Europa League opposition Shakhytor Soligorsk.
The game started with a fast pace as both sides looked to establish themselves on the proceedings. In the fifth minute, Nomads’ forward Andy Owens got into the Isle of Man final third, but dragged his shot wide on an angle from around 20 yards.
A number of set pieces began to slow the game’s pace down, but despite the home side’s efforts to attack The Nomads' end, John Danby had little to do for the entirety of his game.
With 20 minutes to play in the first half, The Nomads began to exert more pressure on their hosts, with Woolfe being denied a top left corner finish from 18 yards thanks to a good save from the Isle of Man 'keeper.
Soon after, Nomads’ Noah Edwards got in a great position inside the six yard box, but his effort was blocked with an off-the-line clearance.
After a drinks break owing to the 25 degree plus temperatures, the game resumed and became more physical.
Edwards made two consecutive sliding tackles in the midfield, before George Horan had to come off after taking part in a big challenge in the centre circle.
Replacing George Horan was Danny Holmes who helped ensure Nomads’ defence was largely untested for the remainder of the half.
In the second half, Jay Catton and Neil Gibson made wholesale changes, with Callum Morris, Jack Kenny, Ryan Wignall, Michael Bakare, and Jay Owen all coming on to try and break the deadlock.
On 56 minutes Danny Holmes took a free kick from 30 yards out, with the effort curling wide for an Isle of Man goal kick.
The game’s stop-start fashion began to frustrate The Nomads’ side, as on the hour mark, Jack Kenny looked to have broken free on goal only for play to be pulled back for a free kick.
On 60 minutes Kenny was gifted possession in the final third after a mistake from a defender, but his shot was blocked before Wignall couldn’t find a pass with the opposition rushing into their own area.
With 20 minutes to play John Danby was substituted with Jon Rushton taking his place, as The Nomads continued to try and find an opener to maintain their 100% win rate in their pre season campaign so far.
Jay Owen got a shot away from 15 yards out, but it headed straight towards the keeper who caught the effort.
Andy Owens followed up on 76 minutes, breaking central into the Isle of Man area only to be tackled at the last minute.
Jack Kenny again found himself in the thick of the action, breaking through on goal and shooting from 18 yards out, with his effort inadvertently blocked by the keeper who was caught off his line.
On 85 minutes the Isle of Man enjoyed their best chance of the game, shooting low from around 12 yards to be denied by a low stop from Rushton.
In a bizarre end to the game, Jay Owen was dismissed for apparent dissent on 88 minutes, with Declan Poole replacing him as per the friendly nature of the fixture.
Despite The Nomads’ efforts and strong defensive display, they were forced to settle for a goalless draw at full time.
The game sees The Nomads remain unbeaten in their pre season after wins over Cefn Druids and Crusaders.
The intensive Europa League preparations are continuing ahead of the first leg tie against Shakhytor Soligorsk on Thursday 12 July, at Rhyl’s Corbett Sports Stadium, for a 6:00pm kick off.
Match report by Will Catterall
John Disney looks to play out from defence © NCM Media
A combination of Isle of Man defenders and goalkeeper stop Noah Edwards from breaking the deadlock © NCM Media
George Horan heads inches wide © NCM Media
Jay Owen goes on the attack © NCM Media
Ryan Wignall is tightly marked by an Isle of Man defender © NCM Media