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Connah's Quay Nomads vs FK Vojvodina
UEFA Europa League
Thursday 21st July 2016 | 6:45pm
Match played at Rhyl's Belle Vue Stadium | Attendance: 809
The Nomads bowed out of the Europa League on Thursday evening after a 2-1 loss at the hands of Serbia’s FK Vojvodina.
The result meant The Nomads had been beaten 3-1 on aggregate following a 1-0 defeat in the first leg. On the night, a Meleg brace secured Vojvodina’s place in the third qualifying round despite Wes Baynes netting for The Nomads.
The game was looked upon as the biggest in the Club’s history, following an immense first leg performance. Up against an agile, quick and full time professional outfit, The Nomads knew the odds were against them but sought to use the home advantage in their favour.
The Nomads lineup was slightly altered from the previous clash with Vojvodina, with John Disney returning from suspension with Danny Harrison unavailable. Vojvodina started a strong line up including formidable players such as Antic, Malbasic and first leg goal scorer Palocevic.
The game began to a frantic start which saw both sides try to make their mark early. Vojvodina quickly introduced their slick passing technique into The Nomads' area, with Wilde launching an attack for The Nomads only to be found guilty of a foul.
On seven minutes, FK Vojvodina delivered a blow to the home side when Dejan Meleg scored a sublime free kick. From two yards outside of The Nomads' area, he curled the ball towards the top right corner of the Nomads net just beyond John Danby’s reach. Despite this major setback, which meant The Nomads now had to score three goals to stay in the competition, the team remained focus on their task making for a relatively even half.
The Nomads grew into the game, having more and more chances, seen when Baynes came close with a free kick from 25 yards before Kearney had a bicycle effort saved by Vojvodina 'keeper Kordic.
The goalscorer Meleg continued to cause problems for The Nomads, forcing Danby to make an excellent low save on 27 minutes, which forced a corner which was successfully defended by the home side. The Nomads made use of Lewis Short’s long throw in’s, with George Horan heading to narrowly miss the target from a throw in, in one of the Nomads best chances of the half.
Just before the interval The Nomads were denied a goal on two occasions in a flurry of attacks on the Vojvodina goal. Nathan Woolfe made a great run to enter the area and shoot from 10 yards, an effort which forced 'keeper Kordic to concede a corner.
The corner triggered a scramble in Vojvodina’s box, which saw Ian Kearney and Callum Morris have efforts blocked in a cruel but encouraging end to the first half for The Nomads.
After the interval, The Nomads were again dealt an early setback at the hands of Vojvodina, when referee Peter Kralovic pointed to the penalty spot after George Horan fouled Palocevic. Dejan Meleg stepped up and slotted the ball to John Danby's left, enhancing the challenge that faced The Nomads to an even greater level.
A substitution was made which saw John Disney make way for Les Davies, who had a big effect on the game, his strength and physicality causing problems for the Serbian defence.
He immediately got involved in the action, sending a wicked cross into the area which Wilde just missed. Vojvodina hit back quickly, with some heroic defending from Baynes and Morris denying them a further lead.
In the 64th minute, it seemed that Michael Wilde had scored his first goal as a Nomads player as a Wes Baynes ball cut through the Vojvodina area and brating Kordic in the goal. On further review of the video footage, we can confirm that it was in fact a Wes Baynes goal as Wilde did not get a touch on the ball.
This goal proved a huge boost to The Nomads, who were now asking serious questions of Vojvodina with more than 20 minutes of Europa League
football still to play. Les Davies found himself with just one defender to beat in the Vojvodina area, and turned to send a tame shot towards goal which the 'keeper dealt with.
As the game went on, Vojvodina began to retake control of the game despite The Nomads’ outstanding efforts to get at the Serbian goal. The Nomads then lost Andy Morrison from the touchline with around 10 minutes to play after Kralovic requested he go to the stands.
Further substitutions saw Matty Owen replace Jay Owen, and Ashley Ruane
come on for Michael Wilde. In the last ten minutes, the game began to slip away from The Nomads, but not without dramatic moments such as Horan heading just wide from a Baynes cross, with many spectators believing he had scored.
A controversial incident occurred in the 84th minute, when The Nomads' contingency and the crowd of the Belle Vue believed a clear handball had been committed by a Vojvodina defender in his own area, but the referee waved the penalty appeals away.
Following just one minute of injury time, full time was confirmed meaning The Nomads exited the UEFA Europa League in respectable fashion, losing 3-1 over two legs to a dynamic Vojvodina with a wealth of European experience.
Although The Nomads’ Europa League campaign has come to end, preparations for the Dafabet Welsh Premier begin on 26 July when they visit Denbigh Town for a pre season friendly, with kick off 7:45pm.
Match report by Will Catterall
1. John Danby
20. Wes Baynes
5. George Horan
4. Ian Kearney
15. Sean Smith
8. Callum Morris
2. John Disney
18. Jay Owen
21. Lewis Short
16. Nathan Woolfe
22. Michael Wilde
28. Jon Rushton
3. Paul Linwood
9. Ashley Ruane
10. Les Davies
11. Nick Rushton
19. Matty Owen
26. Ben Nash
The Nomads' Goalscorers
FK Vojvodina's Scorers
Dejan Meleg (2)