0 - 2
Rhyl FC vs Connah's Quay Nomads
Friday 3rd August 2018 | 7:45pm
Belle Vue, Rhyl | Attendance: 0
Connah’s Quay Nomads completed an unbeaten pre season campaign with a 2-0 win over Rhyl FC at the Corbett Sports Stadium on Friday night.
Both goals came late in the second half, with Callum Morris and Michael Wilde securing the win for Nomads.
The game was Nomads’ first fixture since their Europa League qualifying campaign in July, where they put two on valiant performances against Belarussian side Shakhtyor Soligorsk, only to lose 5-1 on aggregate.
A strong side was announced by the visitors with the likes of Danny Homes, Andy Owens and Michael Bakare all starting.
Rhyl, who go into the Huws Gray Alliance 2018/19 as title contenders, started ex-Nomad and current current club academy coach Ben Nash, with Nomads’ academy products Conor Harwood and Joe Sullivan on the bench.
The friendly got off to a lively start with Ben Nash going close when he hit the side netting, before Jonny Spittle headed just over the Rhyl goal after connecting with a corner kick from Laurence Wilson.
The Nomads began advancing on the Rhyl area with persistent attacking moves, forcing a corner in the 13th minute which was dealt with by the Lilywhites.
Nomads returned five minutes later when Andy Owens edged a Michael Bakare header into the goal from a Laurence Wilson free kick, but this breakthrough was ruled out for offside.
Rhyl remained in the game as they pushed for a goal against the run of play, with the likes of Joe Culshaw having attempts on the Nomads’ goal but without threatening John Danby.
In the 25th minute a Nomads move brought Michael Bakare close to the Rhyl byline, where he sent a pass glancing across goal as Connah’s Quay continued to look for an equaliser.
The Nomads continued to get at the Rhyl goal, with Noah Edwards causing problems for the defence on 33 minutes when his 10 yard effort ricocheted off a defender, forcing keeper Rory Crowther into a save.
Nomads again thought they had broken the deadlock when Andy Owens converted a Ryan Wignall corner kick with a close range header, but this was ruled out as Rhyl were awarded a free kick for a foul in their own area.
Despite Nomads’ efforts, which included Michael Bakare breaking through on goal only to be dispossessed at the last second on 45 minutes, the score remained 0-0 at half time.
Andy Morrison made a change at half time with defender Jonny Spittle departing in place of prolific forward Michael Wilde.
Michael Bakare nearly found Wilde in the Rhyl area on 53 minutes before Bakare was again in the thick of the action, sending a slick backheel to Noah Edwards who burst forward to help keep the pressure on the hosts.
Rob Hughes then came on in place of Edwards and soon came close to an assist, when he dribbled into the area before passing to Bakare. The Nomads’ striker hit the ball well from just eight yards out but a low save from the keeper denied him.
Bakare’s game then came to a close as Nathan Woolfe replaced him for the remaining 30 minutes.
Nomads were again denied by GK Crowther in the 69th minute. After a bursting run from Wignall, Wilde went clear in the area, only for the keeper to make a sweeping save.
Michael Wilde continued to be frustrated upfront, as he saw three chances go amiss in the space of two minutes, missing two headers and having a close range effort blocked by a defender.
As the game entered its final stages Nomads were yet again denied, this time by substitute goalkeeper Jon Hill-Dunt.
The stalwart keeper made a great stop by his top right corner to stop a fantastic curling effort from ex-Rhyl man Rob Hughes.
Hughes was soon back in the Rhyl end, making a run upfield to play a perfect pass to Callum Morris who went clear on goal. He lifted a deft finish past Hill-Dunt to give Nomads their much sought-after lead.
Two minutes later, Michael Wilde secured the friendly victory with a low finish from a Laurence Wilson free kick.
Nomads’ hard fought win completed an unbeaten pre season campaign in which they had defeated Northern Irish champions Crusaders, Inspire Sports Management, Cefn Druids and drawn with the Isle of Man FA.
The Nomads’ next game will mark the start of their JD Welsh Premier League 2018/19 campaign with an away trip to Llanelli AFC on Sunday 12 August for a 2:30pm kick off.
Match report by Will Catterall
Declan Poole goes on the attack for The Nomads © NCM Media
Andy Owens sees the first of his two disallowed goals ruled out © NCM Media
Ex-Nomads, Ben Nash challenges Noah Edwards for the ball © NCM Media
Callum Morris lifts the ball over Jon Hill-Dunt to give The Nomads the lead © NCM Media
Michael Wilde doubles The Nomads' advantage in the 84th minute © NCM Media