1 - 3
Cardiff Metropolitan University FC vs Connah's Quay Nomads
JD Cymru Premier
Sunday 7th October 2018 | 2:30pm
Cyncoed Campus, Cardiff | Attendance: 232
Connah’s Quay Nomads rose to the top of the JD Welsh Premier League with a 3-1 victory over Cardiff Met FC on Sunday afternoon.
The game was the most anticipated of matchweek nine, after Cardiff Met had beaten champions The New Saints with a shock 4-1 scoreline on the previous Sunday.
The Nomads had won their past three games against Llandudno and Carmarthen in league action, before defeating derby rivals Airbus UK 5-1 in the Nathaniel MG Cup.
Andy Morrison was looking to defend his record as an unbeaten manager in South Wales and having never lost to Cardiff Met. He made four changes, bringing Michael Wilde, Ryan Wignall, Andy Owens and Danny Holmes back into the starting line up.
Cardiff Met started the likes of Ben Bowler and Chris Baker with Sam Snaith up top, as they looked to continue their red hot form in the league.
The game began and it was Nomads who started strongest, opening the scoring after just six minutes. After Rob Hughes sent a good aerial ball into the Met area, goalkeeper Alex Lang dropped the ball under pressure from Andy Owens, allowing Calllum Morris to convert with a close range strike.
Cardiff Met responded to Morris’ goal by upping their tempo in the Nomads’ half, seen when Chris Baker sent a 20 yard effort over Jon Rushton’s goal.
In the 12th minute Jay Owen crossed into the Met area where Michael Wilde competed with Lang for the ball, with the keeper coming out on top to claim possession.
Cardiff Met had their first major chance after 16 minutes, when Sam Snaith went through on goal from just six yards out only for Danny Holmes to deny him with an excellent tackle.
With 20 minutes played the Nomads were looking dangerous, with the likes of Ryan Wignall and Andy Owens causing problems for the home defence.
Wignall provided the set up for Nomads’ second in the 24th minute, dribbling through the Met midfield before playing a perfect through ball onto Declan Poole, who ran at goal and finished into the right side of the net from eight yards out.
Although Connah’s Quay had taken a strong lead, Met responded with a period of pressure on the Nomads’ goal which paid dividends.
From a throw-in in the 30th minute, Rhys Thomas pounced at close range when the ball dropped into his path on the edge of the six yard box, bringing the Students back into the game.
The remainder of the first half was a tight affair, with both sides having good chances.
Ryan Wignall worked his way into the final third, passing to Owens who dummied it to Hughes, who was then denied from eight yards by a good save from Lang on 37 minutes.
The game was going end to end, as seconds later Met saw a penalty appeal waved away, before Sam Snaith headed a well delivered cross just over the Nomads’ goal on 42 minutes.
After Wilde headed just wide from a Rob Hughes free kick in injury time, referee Iwan Griffith signalled for half time, and Nomads went in looking to build on a strong performance against a tenacious Cardiff Met.
Andy Morrison made a tactical change at half time, replacing Rob Hughes with left back Laurence Wilson, who helped nullify threats from Cardiff Met.
Nomads started the second half well, with the host’s backline struggling to cope with the height and strength of Andy Owens who was persistently chasing a goal.
Owens’ determination paid off just before the hour mark, when he converted a floated cross from Wignall with a header near the far right post.
The goal sent Nomads 3-1 up, giving them a two goal cushion whilst they did well to hold off a Met side who were consistently looking to create opportunities in the Connah’s Quay end.
A big chance for Cardiff came in the 64th minute, when a diving header from Sam Snaith went just wide of goal.
Nomads then made their second change, bringing on summer signing Craig Jones to replace Ryan Wignall. He got involved in the action straight away, heading away a throw in from Cardiff Met, who were targeting the Nomads’ end with set pieces.
Danny Holmes was vital in blocking one of Cardiff’s best chances of the half, intercepting a square ball from Adam Roscrow who was trying to set up Snaith who was clear in front of goal.
Holmes was again ever-present in the 75th minute, making a block to deny another Met move which would have sent them six yards from goal in a 1 v 1 against Rushton.
With 10 minutes to play, Michael Wilde came off in place of Jack Kenny as the Nomads looked to keep their hold on an entertaining encounter in Cardiff.
They had a chance to extend their lead when they were awarded a free kick in a dangerous position 25 yards from goal, but Laurence Wilson’s effort went straight to the keeper who collected it.
Met then won a free kick in a similar position near the Nomads’ area, with Eliot Evans’ effort sent over to damage the Students’ hopes of a late comeback.
With three minutes of injury time indicated by the fourth official, Nomads showed great professionalism to see the game out, with Danny Holmes once again stepping up to clear a last ditch attack from the hosts.
The victory sends Nomads to the top of the JD Welsh Premier table after nine games and continues the club’s unbeaten record against Cardiff Met.
They now turn their attentions to cup action, welcoming Northern Irish side and Irish Cup champions Coleraine FC to Deeside in the Irn Bru Cup third round.
The game kicks off at 19:30 on Saturday 13 October and will be live on S4C’s Sgorio.
Match report by Will Catterall
28. Jon Rushton
15. Danny Holmes
6. Danny Harrison
2. John Disney
12. Declan Poole
8. Callum Morris
16. Jay Owen
21. Rob Hughes
7. Ryan Wignall
10. Andy Owens
9. Michael Wilde
26. Eric Merner
3. Laurence Wilson
11. Nathan Woolfe
14. Jack Kenny
20. Craig Jones
22. Michael Bakare
23. Joe Sullivan
The Nomads' Goalscorers
Cardiff Met's Scorers