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Carmarthen Town AFC vs Connah's Quay Nomads
JD Cymru Premier
Saturday 12th January 2019 | 7:30pm
Richmond Park, Carmarthen | Attendance: 246
Connah’s Quay Nomads were defeated by three goals to town at Carmarthen Town in the final game of the JD Welsh Premier League’s Phase One on Saturday evening.
Goals from Michael Bakare and Callum Morris twice sent Nomads’ ahead, but a Greg Walters strike followed by an 82nd minute free kick from Liam Cummings and a 95th minute Liam Thomas penalty sealed a dramatic win for the hosts.
The Nomads travelled to Richmond Park aiming to end their phase one campaign by remaining top of the JD Welsh Premier League. With one game to go before the annual split of the top flight, Nomads sat in first place just one point above Barry Town in second, and two from TNS in third.
Andy Morrison’s side were in strong form, having scored 10 goals in their past two games with a 4-1 win over Bala Town and a 6-1 defeat of Aberystwyth.
The Nomads’ boss named a largely unchanged line up, with Rob Hughes replacing the injured Ryan Wignall. Carmarthen meanwhile started familiar faces Lee Surman and Ceri Morgan in addition to stalwart goalkeeper Lee Idzi.
It was Nomads who came out strongest when the match commenced, as their presence in the Carmarthen half began to yield set pieces. With eight minutes played, they were awarded a free kick just five yards from the area, with Bakare’s effort hitting the wall and going out for a corner which was cleared.
Rob Hughes was looking lively on the right wing for Nomads, attacking the Old Gold end in the 13th minute only to be intercepted, with George Horan recovering the ball to prevent a shot on goal from Carmarthen.
Nomads persisted in the home side’s final third, with some stepovers from Bakare winning a deep throw in in the 16th minute which was cleared.
But the breakthrough came two minutes later, when a foul on Michael Wilde gave Nomads a free kick near the Carmarthen right corner flag. Bakare took, and his effort evaded all in the area to go in, with Idzi’s stop not enough to keep the ball from crossing the line.
Buoyed by their lead, Nomads continued to attack with vigour, as George Horan sent a header just over the crossbar from a corner in the 22nd minute.
Carmarthen looked to reply to Nomads’ opener with a corner in the 25th minute which was headed away by Michael Wilde. Target man Greg Walters then had a shot at the Nomads’ goal from 10 yards out, but John Danby remained untested thanks to a Jay Owen block.
Walters was leading Carmarthen’s efforts for an equaliser, as he again went at goal from 13 yards out after a corner in the 35th minute, with Danby holding the effort.
Nomads hit back with a corner won after great technique from Michael Bakare, but the set piece was cancelled out by a foul on an Old Gold player in the area.
As the 40 minute mark approached, both sides were eager to score before the interval, with John Disney and Horan working well to stop runs from the likes of Luke Bowen.
Nomads won the last chances of the half with two late free kicks which couldn’t add to their goal tally, before half time was signalled for by referee Bryn Markham-Jones.
Andy Morrison’s men looked to start the second half strongly, with a corner won in the 46th minute and Wilde sending an 18 yard effort over Idzi’s goal on 50 minutes.
Carmarthen then equalised against the run of play, with a counter attack seeing Greg Walters go clear in front of the Nomads goal and slot the ball into the right side of the goal from 10 yards out in the 53rd.
The Old Gold’s equaliser sparked urgency in the Nomads, who won a corner immediately after the restart. Rapid play saw Nomads swarm into the Carmarthen end at every opportunity until Callum Morris was able to restore their lead.
After a great run and cross from Bakare, Morris took a touch to go clear in front of goal and slotted home from close range just six minutes after Walters had levelled the game.
Nomads’ first substitution saw Rob Hughes replaced by Danny Harrison as they looked to settle the now battling affair at Richmond Park.
With 20 minutes to play and the score Carmarthen 1-2 Nomads, both teams were vying for more goals.
The game now had an end to end feel as the Old Gold looked to counter Nomads’ pressure, seen when a Nomads free kick from Bakare led to George Horan being booked for a foul on a Carmarthen man in the midfield.
As the game entered its latter stages Nomads were once again dominating possession as the likes of Bakare, Wilde, and Owens all pushed to get a crucial third goal, but on eight minutes of normal time left the encounter was turned on its head.
Carmarthen were awarded a free kick on the edge of the Nomads’ area, and it was hit home by a Luke Cummings strike to bring the hosts level once again.
This triggered frantic forward play from Nomads, who received a one-man advantage in the 85th minute, when Carmarthen’s Luke Baldwin was shown a second yellow for a foul on the left wing and dismissed.
One minute later, the Nomads looked to make a free kick just 25 yards out count, but Bakare’s on target effort was held by Idzi.
A second substitution was then made, with Nathan Woolfe introduced in place of Jay Owen to help inspire what would be a dramatic winner for Nomads.
And they pushed for just that, with constant waves of attacks coming into the Carmarthen final third during five minutes of injury time. In the 92nd minute, in a crowded area, Bakare held the ball up before having a shot blocked from just eight yards out.
On 94 minutes, Nomads were handed a final chance for a winner when they were awarded a corner, but Carmarthen won the ball and went on a counter attack which sent Liam Thomas through on goal.
The Old Gold forward was brought down in the area, with the referee pointing to the spot. Thomas stepped up and converted the penalty to score his 100th club goal and win the game for the home side in the 95th minute.
The result saw Nomads go third in the JD Welsh Premier League table for the first time this season, two points off first place.
They are next in action on Saturday 26th January, when they again travel to Carmarthen to face the Old Gold in the JD Welsh Cup fourth round.
Match report by Will Catterall
1. John Danby
15. Danny Holmes
5. George Horan
17. Michael Parker
2. John Disney
21. Rob Hughes
8. Callum Morris
16. Jay Owen
22. Michael Bakare
10. Andy Owens
9. Michael Wilde
28. Jon Rushton
4. Jonny Spittle
6. Danny Harrison
11. Nathan Woolfe
25. Dominic McHugh
The Nomads' Goalscorers
Carmarthen Town's Scorers