0 - 1
Barry Town United vs Connah's Quay Nomads
JD Cymru Premier
Saturday 8th February 2020 | 2:30pm
Jenner Park, Barry | Attendance: 462
Connah's Quay Nomads commenced their Championship Conference campaign in phase two of the JD Cymru Premier with a 1-0 win over Barry Town at Jenner Park.
A Michael Wilde goal in the third minute was enough to hand Nomads a win to send them within one point of first place in the league table.
• Craig Curran makes full club debut
• Early Wilde goal sent Nomads ahead
• Barry reduced to ten with McLaggon seeing red
• Disciplined Nomads hold out for victory
The Nomads came into the game after claiming the first silverware of the domestic season in the previous week, having beaten STM Sports 3-0 to win the Nathaniel MG Cup.
A busy seven days also followed off the field, with manager Andy Morrison signing a new contract to extend his stay at the club until Summer 2022.
The Nomads' boss named a strong attacking line up, giving January signing Craig Curran his full debut alongside fellow forwards Michael Wilde and Jamie Insall.
Gavin Chesterfield meanwhile handed starts to household Barry names including Kayne McLaggon, Chris Hugh and Jordan Cotterill as the Linnets looked to reverse their two losses against Nomads in phase one of the JD Cymru Premier.
Despite the first half being a close contest, the Nomads had to wait only three minutes before taking the lead.
After a low Michael Bakare strike from 20 yards, coming from a Declan Poole run down the left, Michael Wilde got on the end of it to convert from just six yards out.
Barry Town were behind but still well in the encounter, with the George Horan led defence keeping their early equaliser attempts at bay.
On eight minutes, Craig Curran was keen to open his Nomads account with a well taken 25 yard effort, but Barry keeper Mike Lewis held it.
As the game went on it remained tight with both sides fighting hard to try and take the lion's share of possession. In the 14th minute, a free kick for Nomads from the left wing was crossed in by Bakare, with his delivery headed just over the bar by Horan.
Curran then again threatened for Nomads, sending a volley set up by Horan over the goal in the 20th.
Against a Barry side with plenty of firepower, Andy Morrison's side were doing well to contain them as they looked to the likes of Chris Hugh to send them further into the Nomads' final third.
In the 27th, the crossbar was hit by Nomads through George Horan, who went close to heading another effective Bakare cross in.
Poole was looking dangerous on the wing for Nomads, nearly breaking into the Barry area in the 33rd minute after combining well with Insall, and sent a shot over from 18 yards after using some impressive skill to get past the defence.
With five minutes to go before half time, Barry were dealt a major blow when referee Iwan Griffith showed star man Kayne McLaggon a straight red card for a challenge on Declan Poole.
After a competitive first half and good advert for the JD Cymru Premier, Nomads had done enough to take their lead in at half time while Barry were tasked with staying in the game with 10 men.
The first chance after the restart came in the 51st, when Craig Curran broke free on goal but was met by Mike Lewis, who came off his line to sweep Curran's 10 yard effort away.
Andy Morrison then made his first change of the day, bringing on Kris Owens to replace Jamie Insall as Connah's Quay sought to ensure their clean sheet remained intact.
On 55 minutes, Callum Morris triggered a surprise attack on the Barry end with a tackle on the halfway line which set Craig Curran up to shoot wide from 12 yards in another promising chance on his first start.
After the hour mark, Barry moved to make a significant substitution when they replaced Paul Morgan with new signing and ex-Birmingham City winger David Cotterill.
He joined his side as they began to put pressure on the Nomads' end, sending a 65th minute free kick towards goal from 25 yards out in his first touch of the game, which was on target but pushed away for a corner by Brass.
After a challenge from Farquharson, the hosts won a free kick near the edge of the Quay area two minutes later, with Cotterill stepping up but sending it wide.
As the game entered the final 20 minutes it became a tense and tight affair, with Callum Morris seeing a yellow card as both sides battled hard for a result.
Despite regular attacks from Barry, the Nomads were managing well, and brought on left back Callum Roberts to replace Bakare in the 75th as they continued to focus on their clean sheet.
In the 81st, Cotterill again lined up a set piece in a good position around 20 yards from the Nomads' goal, but the delivery didn't challenge Brass as it went over and out for a goal kick.
A minute later, Wilde was causing problems at the Barry end but couldn't get enough on the ball to send it goalwards at close range.
Nomads' third and final substitution saw John Disney replace Craig Curran as he joined a well drilled defensive effort to keep out last ditch attempts to salvage a result from Barry.
Composure was key in the final stages of the game, and the Nomads showed it in abundance as they controlled the ball down the left wing to win a late corner, which was held up near the corner flag by Morris.
Full time confirmed a hard fought victory for Nomads which sends them just a point off the top of the table with nine games to play in the league season.
They now turn their attentions to a Valentines' Day clash with Caernarfon Town next Friday evening for a 7:45pm kick off at Deeside Stadium.
Match report by Will Catterall
Mike Wilde celebrates his sixth goal in three games | © NCM Media
Mike Wilde sees his header rebound off the crossbar | © NCM Media
Kayne McLaggon is shown a straight red for a foul on Declan Poole | © NCM Media
Mike Lewis denies Craig Curran a debut goal | © NCM Media
Danny Holmes evades Mo Touray | © NCM Media