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Cefn Druids AFC vs Connah's Quay Nomads
Sunday 17th June 2018 | 2:30pm
The Rock, Cefn Mawr | Attendance: 0
Sunday afternoon saw The Nomads start their pre-season fixtures with a 2-1 victory against fellow Europa League qualifers, Cefn Druids.
The game heralded the start of The Nomads’ pre season campaign ahead of the 2018/19 JD Welsh Premier League and Europa League season.
Cefn Druids were preparing for their Europa League Preliminary Round tie against FK Trakai of Lithuania, whilst The Nomads are awaiting confirmation of their Qualifying Round One opponent in Wednesday’s draw at UEFA headquarters in Geneva.
The Nomads and Druids starred in one of the Welsh Premier’s most dramatic games in the past season, with The Nomads coming back from 1-0 down with nine men to win 2-1 in at Deeside March.
Druids got revenge for that defeat in the final game of the season, when two first half goals sealed a 2-0 home win for the Ancients.
But this encounter was played out in a more relaxed setting as both teams focused on fitness ahead of a summer in Europe. The Nomads’ full squad was on show, including new signings Michael Parker, Jack Kenny, Laurence Wilson and the returning John Disney.
After around eight minutes of a fast-paced opening, Michael Bakare sent The Nomads ahead after running into the Druids’ last third and lifting a shot over the 'keeper from 18 yards out.
Druids hit back just two minutes later, heading past John Danby at close range to cancel out Bakare’s opener while Jonny Spittle was off the field receiving treatment for an eye problem.
The rest of the first half was played out evenly, with Nathan Woolfe threatening for The Nomads when he hit the crossbar from a cross turned shot from the Druids’ left wing.
Cefn Druids sent a free kick towards the bottom left corner of Danby’s net from 25 yards out, but the Welsh Premier League Goalkeeper of the Season pushed the shot out and collected the resulting corner.
In the second half, The Nomads brought out a new XI including new signings Laurence Wilson and John Disney, who has re-signed at Deeside after spells at Altrincham and Bala Town.
The Nomads won a free kick just outside the Druids’ area soon after the restart, with Andy Owens sending the set piece just wide.
A second free kick in a similar position was won by Owens 15 minutes later, and Laurence Wilson stepped up, shooting over for a goal kick to Cefn Druids.
Jon Rushton made a vital save to deny a powerful Druids’ free kick sent in from 25 yards to prevent the home side taking the lead.
The Nomads continued to work hard and began to dominate possession, with Andy Owens partaking in a number of physical clashes with the Druid’s defensive line.
After a corner was whipped in by Laurence Wilson, Nomads’ captain George Horan sent a shot into goal that crossed the line despite a clearance attempt from the home side.
And Horan’s strike would prove to be the match winner as The Nomads held onto their lead confidently until the final whistle.
The match had seen the Nomads’ squad get valuable game time under their belts and record a first pre season win at their first attempt.
Next Saturday Nomads travel to Belfast to face Northern Irish champions Crusaders at their Seaview home for a 1:00pm kick off.
Match report by Will Catterall
Michael Bakare celebrates his opening goal with Rob Hughes © NCM Media
Rob Hughes takes on the Druids defence © NCM Media
George Horan's finish gives The Nomads the victory despite the efforts of the Druids defence © NCM Media
Michael Bakare watches his effort sail into the Druids' net © NCM Media
Callum Morris looks to find a way through the Druids back line © NCM Media
The Nomads' Goalscorers