3 - 0
The New Saints FC vs Connah's Quay Nomads
JD Cymru Premier
Saturday 20th October 2018 | 7:30pm
Park Hall, Oswestry | Attendance: 225
Connah’s Quay Nomads lost for the first time in eight games on Saturday evening in a 3-0 defeat to The New Saints in the JD Welsh Premier League.
Aeron Edwards opened the scoring on 26 minutes, bagging a brace on 58 minutes, before Blaine Hudson all but confirmed the Saints’ victory with a third goal in the 66th minute.
The game was billed as one of the biggest in recent JD Welsh Premier League history, as in a role reversal from previous seasons, league leaders Nomads travelled to second placed TNS with a two point lead in the table.
The Nomads had last beaten TNS at Park Hall almost exactly 23 years ago on 23 October 1995, but they went into the game off the back of a red hot streak, having won seven in a row and scored 26 goals in 10 games.
But TNS also came into the game as a form side, having bounced back from a shock 4-1 defeat at Cardiff Met to defeat Carmarthen and Llandudno.
Nomads went into the fixture with the chance to go five points clear at the top of the table with victory, whilst a draw would maintain their two point lead over the reigning league champions.
Andy Morrison made three changes to his starting line up from Tuesday’s 3-1 win over Cefn Druids, starting forward Andy Owens, midfielder Rob Hughes and left back Laurence Wilson. Michael Bakare started on the bench alongside ex-TNS man Michael Wilde.
TNS started an ever-strong line up consisting of golden boot holder Greg Draper, Wales U19 international Ben Cabango, and Aeron Edwards.
The Nomads started the game brightly, with the likes of Declan Poole and Ryan Wignall making good runs down the wing.
After a goalless 10 minutes in which Nomads had enjoyed the majority of possession, Declan Poole sent a threatening cross into the TNS area on 13 minutes, before Callum Morris pounced on a loose ball six yards from the TNS goal, being just beat to it by goalkeeper Paul Harrison.
In the 19th minute Ryan Wignall received the ball and turned from eight yards out to shoot, but his effort was blocked.
Three minutes later Callum Morris was in the thick of the action, sending a half volley just above the TNS crossbar, as Andy Morrison’s side continued to put pressure on their hosts.
And their attacks on the TNS end were mounting, as Andy Owens similarly had a shot blocked inside the area as he looked to convert Nomads’ positive start into an opening goal.
But after 25 minutes of great play from Nomads, it was TNS who took the lead via Aeron Edwards, who surged through the midfield to send a 25 yard effort into the top right corner.
The goal, which came against the run of play, was TNS’ only major effort on goal in the first half, and with 20 minutes still to play Nomads continued to try and break down the Saints’ defence.
In the 35th minute Morris had an eight yard effort blocked, with a follow up close range shot sent just over the TNS crossbar.
At the end of the first half, Rob Hughes lifted a 25 yard effort just over the TNS goal, as Nomads searched for an equaliser before the interval.
During the break, Andy Morrison made his first change of the evening, replacing Declan Poole with Michael Bakare to boost Nomads’ attacking line.
In the second half, Nomads came agonisingly close to an equaliser on 57th minutes, when a Nomads free kick from near the TNS right corner flag was swung into the six yard area.
Keeper Harrison dropped the ball, and Danny Holmes tried to pounce on the loose ball just a yard from the goal line, but TNS got there first to clear the golden opportunity for an equaliser.
On the counter attack from that chance, TNS made it 2-0 with Aeron Edwards bagging his brace. He got on the end of a pin point ball from Chris Marriott, lifting the ball over John Danby to slot into Nomads’ open goal.
Nomads continued to press after TNS’ second, but on 66 minutes Blaine Hudson all but confirmed a TNS victory when he headed in a Marriott free kick at close range inside a packed Nomads six yard box.
In the 67th minute Ryan Wignall dribbled well into the TNS area, poking an effort towards the bottom right corner, where Harrison met it with a low save.
With 20 minutes to play Nathan Woolfe came on in place of Rob Hughes, with Ryan Wignall coming off in place of Jack Kenny for the final 10 minutes.
Despite trailing by three goals to nil, Nomads persisted in their efforts to beat Harrison and the TNS defence, with a Bakare pass to Nathan Woolfe, who was waiting for the ball on the penalty spot, intercepted at the last second on 85 minutes.
After two additional minutes of injury time, referee David Morgan signalled for full time to confirm a disappointing result, despite a positive Nomads performance.
The Nomads will be back in action on Friday 26 October, when they will look to bounce back from their defeat against Caernarfon Town at The Oval for a 19:45 kick off.
Match report by Will Catterall
1. John Danby
15. Danny Holmes
6. Danny Harrison
2. John Disney
3. Laurence Wilson
7. Ryan Wignall
8. Callum Morris
16. Jay Owen
12. Declan Poole
21. Rob Hughes
10. Andy Owens
28. Jon Rushton
9. Michael Wilde
11. Nathan Woolfe
14. Jack Kenny
22. Michael Bakare
23. Joe Sullivan
25. Dominic McHugh
Aeron Edwards (2)