2 - 0
Connah's Quay Nomads vs Newtown AFC
JD Cymru Premier
Friday 15th March 2019 | 7:45pm
Deeside Stadium, Connah's Quay | Attendance: 248
Connah's Quay Nomads defeated Newtown 2-0 in the JD Welsh Premier League on Friday evening with first and second half goals from George Horan and Michael Bakare respectively.
• Horan headed Nomads in front early on
• Captain Horan went close with two more headers
• A tight second half was played out
• Michael Bakare hits 85th minute volley to seal victory
The game was a chance for Nomads to bounce back from their first loss of phase two after a 2-0 defeat to The New Saints in the previous week. But with TNS out of action for the weekend, they had a chance to return to the top of the table.
Andy Morrison made four changes to his line up with Michael Wilde suspended after receiving a red card against The New Saints. Ryan Wignall came back from injury to replace him, with Priestley Farquharson, Jay Owen, and Michael Parker coming in for Danny Harrison, John Disney, and Rob Hughes.
Newtown started a line up including forward Porya Ahmadi, who scored against Nomads earlier in the season at Latham Park, ex-Nomad Nick Rushton, and January signing Sam Barnes.
The fixture started on a positive note for Nomads, with their first major chance coming just six minutes in. Ryan Wignall cut into the Robins' area, crossing low into the box where Callum Morris had a close range effort cleared off the goal line.
And the early momentum paid off, with captain George Horan sending Nomads ahead in the 11th minute. From an Andy Owens throw in, he rose highest in the Newtown area and headed towards the roof of the net.
Connah's Quay's onslaught continued as they targeted the Robins' final third with a series of set pieces, with another throw from Owens going to Wignall, who was just evaded as he looked to run to the byline.
In the 17th minute, a counter attack led by Wignall saw him lay on Callum Morris in front of the Newtown goal, who had a 10 yard effort blocked by Jay Denny.
A minute later, Horan was denied a brace when he sent a Jay Owen corner kick towards goal with a trademark header, only to see it pushed over the crossbar by goalkeeper Dave Jones.
And Jones was again in action in the 27th, when he stopped a powerful low half volley via Andy Owens from around 12 yards out.
With half an hour played, Nomads' search for a second goal continued, and they had a good opportunity to find it in the 34th minute when they were awarded a free kick on the edge of the Newtown area, which was sent just over the crossbar by Adam Barton.
As the interval approached, Andy Morrison's side accelerated their push for a two goal cushion, with Andy Owens having a low shot from 10 yards out blocked inside a packed area in the 41st minute, and Horan having another header cleared off the goal line in the 42nd.
After dominating the first half, the Nomads came out in the second looking to consolidate their hold on the encounter.
They were soon back in the Newtown end, with Ryan Wignall capitalising on the long throw ins of Andy Owens, who had a 10 yard strike blocked in the 55th minute.
In the 61st minute Newtown went close, with an 18 yard effort from Newtown's Alex Fletcher being well caught by Danby as the Robins looked to equalise with a counter attack.
Nomads then made their first substitution of the game, with Wignall being replaced by Rob Hughes, who nearly found his way through on goal as he chased onto a good through ball from Adam Barton.
With 20 minutes to play, Nomads won three consecutive throw ins which caused problems in the Newtown area, before a foul on a Robins' defender ended the chance.
After Newtown free kick in the 76th minute on the edge of the Nomads' area was sent over by T Craig Williams, Nomads then introduced Declan Poole who returned from injury to replace Adam Barton.
Craig Hughes then made all three of his substitutions at once, bringing off Hughes, Ahmadi, and Kenton in place of Boundford, Leslie, and Phillips, as he looked to fresh legs to try and find a result as the game entered its latter stages.
But as Newtown sought a late equaliser, Bakare dealt them a fatal blow when he sent a half volley into the bottom left corner of the net from around 18 yards out on 85 minutes.
As the game entered the 90th, three minutes of additional time were awarded by the fourth official, with Nomads final substitution seeing them bring on academy product turned first team professional Conor Harwood in place of Bakare.
The result sends Nomads top of the JD Welsh Premier League two points above The New Saints, who have two games in hand, and nine above Barry Town who also have two additional games to play.
Andy Morrison and his side's attentions now turn to the Irn Bru Cup final, where they will make history as the first ever Welsh side to play in the final of the Scottish Challenge Cup competition.
The match kicks off at Inverness' Caledonian Stadium on Saturday 23 March at 4:30pm, and will be broadcast on S4C, BBC Alba and BT Sport.
Subsidised fan travel is also available from the club, with the official supporters' coach available for bookings here.
Match report by Will Catterall
1. John Danby
15. Danny Holmes
5. George Horan
17. Michael Parker
18. Priestley Farquharson
7. Ryan Wignall
8. Callum Morris
14. Adam Barton
16. Jay Owen
22. Michael Bakare
10. Andy Owens
2. John Disney
4. Jonny Spittle
12. Declan Poole
19. Jake Phillips
21. Rob Hughes
24. Conor Harwood
25. Dominic McHugh
The Nomads' Goalscorers