Nomads end 24 year wait for Nathaniel MG Cup success

Connah's Quay Nomads

3 - 0

STM Sports

Connah's Quay Nomads vs STM Sports
Nathaniel MG Cup
Saturday 1st February 2020 | 5:15pm
Latham Park, Newtown | Attendance: 667

Connah's Quay Nomads became Nathaniel MG Cup champions on Saturday evening with a 3-0 win over STM Sports at Newtown's Latham Park.

A Michael Wilde double sent Nomads ahead in the first half, with a quickfire strike from Jamie Insall helping seal the cup for the club for the first time since 1996.

• Nomads went up against JD Cymru South side STM Sports
• A headed brace from Wilde made it 2-0 at half time
• Insall made it three with impressive volley 20 seconds after restart
• New signing Craig Curran makes Nomads debut

The game marked Nomads' first Nathaniel MG Cup final in 24 years, as their previous and only success in the competition came in 1996 with a 1-0 win over Ebbw Vale at Caersws' Recreation Ground.

Connah's Quay were the hot favourites for the cup clash, as they came into the game 2nd in the JD Cymru Premier with only two losses, and had beaten Rhyl, Guilsfield, Flint Town and Bala to meet STM Sports in the final.

Nana Baah's outfit were the underdogs, but far from written off as they were enjoying a fine first season in the JD Cymru South, and were looking to add a third top flight scalp to the record having beaten Newtown AFC and Aberystwyth to meet with Nomads.

Andy Morrison named a strong line up to start the game, with captain George Horan and Michael Wilde looking to add a Nathaniel MG Cup winners' medal to their Nomads honours.

Jamie Insall joined Wilde upfront, with Horan backed by Danny Harrison and Priestley Farquharson, whilst new signing Craig Curran started on the bench.

STM Sports named a line up full of their regular names including captain Joseph Evans and the pacy attacking midfielder Marcus Jones.

The game started with a good amount of possession for Nomads who sought to put pressure on the Nomads' end early on.

They made their attacking intent clear almost immediately, winning a free kick around 25 yards out from STM's goal which hit the wall via Insall in the third minute.

In the 7th, a well weighted cross from Michael Bakare looked dangerous as it went inside the area, but STM keeper Ben Boyer came off his line to catch it.

But against the run of play on 12 minutes, Marcus Jones had a good chance for his side when he dribbled through a gap in the Nomads' defence and shot low and wide from around 10 yards.

Andy Morrison's side quickly regained possession, having a good chance of their own when Wilde flicked a ball to Insall whose close range lob effort looped over the STM goal.

After 20 minutes, Nomads were looking increasingly dangerous on the front foot, with good runs being made down the wings by the likes of Bakare and Priestley Farquharson.

Michael Wilde was in the thick of it on 29 minutes, when he rose up to challenge keeper Boyer in the air and won a corner for his side.

That corner was taken quickly by Bakare, who received it back to send an excellent cross near the goal where Wilde was waiting to send a trademark header into the top right corner of the net.

Connah's Quay kept the pressure on at 1-0, with a low volley attempt from Bakare in the 33rd being followed by another close range Insall strike going wide as the chances kept coming for Nomads.

And they were rewarded for the persistence, with Wilde sealing his brace before half time in the 41st minute. It was again from a header as he converted an excellent ball from Kris Owens, this time sending it to the into the left side of the net.

The Nomads took their well-deserved 2-0 lead in at half time, and came out for the second looking to build on it while maintaining their strong hold of the cup encounter.

This target was met in a matter of just 20 seconds, as Jamie Insall made it 3-0 in style immediately after the whistle blew for the restart.

When Wilde headed the ball up in the STM area, Insall, with his back to the goal, turned and hit it with a first-time volley to send it past a helpless Boyer.

With the Nomads having all but cancelled out any threat of a comeback from their opponents, they continued to press, with Farquharson seeing an outstretched strike just a few yards from the STM goal trickle wide.

Just before the hour mark, the game saw a Nomads debut, as former Tranmere, Ross County and Dundee man Craig Curran replaced Jay Owen.

He got involved straight away, seeing a shot blocked from seven yards as Nomads were playing much of their football in STM Sports' final third.

A second change from Andy Morrison in the 65th introduced Sameron Dool in place of Jamie Insall to help uphold Nomads' domination all over the park as the cup final entered its latter stages.

Curran was unlucky not to extend Nomads' lead in the 73rd, with keeper Boyer doing well to push away a header from a Wilde cross which was going towards the bottom left corner.

STM were making a good account of themselves as they battled for every ball, and got into the Nomads' area in the 78th only to see Lewis Brass to successfully sweep away in a rare moment of involvement for the Quay stopper.

With ten minutes to go, and John Disney coming on for Priestley Farquharson, a composed, professional and attacking performance from Andy Morrison's side left Connah's Quay in complete control.

The full time whistle confirmed Nomads as champions of the Nathaniel MG Cup for the first time in 24 years, and kicked off great scenes of celebration between the players, coaches, academy, and jubilant Nomads' fans.

The cup win also qualifies Nomads for next season's Tunnocks Caramel Wafer Cup, which will mark their fourth consecutive season of involvement in the Scottish Challenge Cup competition.

They now turn to their attentions to the start of phase two of the JD Cymru Premier, which they mark with a trip to Barry Town next Saturday 8th February for a 2:30pm kick off.

Match report by Will Catterall

The Nomads celebrate lifting the trophy | © NCM Media

The Nomads celebrate lifting the trophy | © NCM Media

Michael Wilde headed The Nomads in front | © NCM Media

Michael Wilde headed The Nomads in front | © NCM Media

Wilde doubled his tally with another impressive header | © NCM Media

Wilde doubled his tally with another impressive header | © NCM Media

Jamie Insall killed off the game with a stunning volley | © NCM Media

Jamie Insall killed off the game with a stunning volley | © NCM Media

The Nomads' players celebrate with the champagne | © NCM Media

The Nomads' players celebrate with the champagne | © NCM Media

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