Depleted Nomads lose out to Saints in final pre-Europa friendly

St Johnstone FC

2 - 0

Connah's Quay Nomads

St Johnstone FC vs Connah's Quay Nomads
Saturday 24th June 2017 | 2:00pm
Match played at Murray Park, Glasgow | Attendance: 0

A much depleted Connah’s Quay Nomads lost to Scottish Premier League side St Johnstone by two goals to nil in a behind-closed-doors friendly on Saturday afternoon.

The match was part of both teams’ preparation for the Europa League First Qualifying Round, where The Nomads face Finnish side HJK Helsinki and St Johnstone play Lithuania’s FK Trakai.

The Nomads came into the game after a well fought 0-0 draw against top flight Northern Irish side Ballymena without John Danby, George Horan and Michael Pearson, all of whom had played against the Irish side. Meanwhile, St Johnstone had earlier in the week defeated current Welsh Premier League champions TNS 3-0.

In windy conditions the game started at Glasgow Rangers' Murray Park training complex.  Nathan Woolfe used his pace to get upfront early on, but couldn’t trouble the St Johnstone keeper.  The earliest chance of the game came when Sean Smith broke from the half way line behind the St Johnstone defence, but failed to trouble the keeper.

Jon Rushton meanwhile coped well with threats from the Scottish side, with a strong defensive performance from Nomads meaning he rarely had to make a vital stop.

Danny Harrison took on a commanding role in defensive midfield, with an overall composed performance from The Nomads seeing the game goalless at half time.

Just minutes after the restart the deadlock was broken, as St Johnstone’s Blair Alston who sent an excellent free kick into the top left corner of The Nomads’ goal from around 25 yards.

Despite trailing, the Nomads stayed in the highly competitive game, introducing Andreas Bianga and Ryan Wignall who both looked to attack with around 30 minutes to play.

The Nomads were unlucky not to equalise when a Nathan Woolfe corner deflected off an out coming St Johnstone goalkeeper and hit the post.  In another good Nomads’ chance, Kai Edwards rose to send a header just wide of the goal.

In an attacking break, a St Johnstone winger darted up into The Nomads’ half sending a deft cross to Graham Cummins who headed low into The Nomads' goal to secure the Saints’ a 2-0 win.

As the game entered its final stages, academy product Conor Harwood was brought on along with 16-year-old Joe Sullivan who made his first team debut.

Full time was confirmed and although defeated, The Nomads were left to reflect on a very competitive performance against a side who finished fourth in Scotland’s top flight last season.

The Nomads now move onto their UEFA Europa League First Qualifying Round match against HJK Helsinki.  The home leg will be played on Thursday 29 June at Bangor City's stadium with a 7:00pm kick off.

A full photo gallery from the game can be found on the Club's official Facebook page.

Match report by Will Catterall