2 - 1
Dumbarton vs Connah's Quay Nomads
Tunnocks Caramel Wafer Cup
Saturday 2nd September 2017 | 2:30pm
Dumbarton Football Stadium, Dumbarton | Attendance: 491
Connah’s Quay Nomads were defeated in extra time of their first ever competitive match in Scotland against Scottish Championship side Dumbarton in the Irn Bru Cup.
Callum Morris sent The Nomads ahead in the first half through a 26th minute penalty, but an 81st minute equaliser from David Wilson forced extra time, in which Dumbarton’s Dimitrios Froxylias claimed victory with a 119th minute goal.
The game was a historical one for The Nomads, as it was the club’s first competitive game in Scotland and their inaugural involvement in the Irn Bru Cup, formerly known as the Scottish Challenge Cup.
The competition is comprised of Scottish Premier League U20 teams, Scottish Football League clubs and Irish, Northern Irish and Welsh sides. The Nomads qualified for the competition after securing second place in the JD Welsh Premier league on the final day of the 2016/17 season.
Connah’s Quay came into the cup fixture following their first defeat of the JD Welsh Premier League season, after a Toby Jones goal was enough to hand the Nomads a 1-0 defeat at Llandudno. Dumbarton were meanwhile looking to overcome a run of bad form, having won none of their first four league fixtures.
Andy Morrison named an unchanged side from that game, with new signing John Oyenuga on the bench.
The game started and both sides displayed organised set-ups, leading to a even opening stage of play. The Nomads first threatened in the 12th minute, when Michael Wilde ran at goalkeeper Scott Gallacher to try and take the ball from his feet, but The Nomads' forward clashed awkwardly with the Dumbarton stopper who managed to keep possession.
A number of full blooded challenges began to go in, leading to a frequent amount of free kicks being given to both sides. Despite the number of set pieces, both Danby and Gallacher remained comfortable in their goals with around 20 minutes played.
The Nomads were handed an opportunity to go in front in the 26th minute when Wilde was fouled in the area. Callum Morris stepped up and coolly slotted into the bottom left corner of the Dumbarton goal.
Boosted by their lead, The Nomads performed with great professionalism for the rest of the half, containing a Dumbarton side with a defensive line of Pearson, Horan, Edwards and Heath.
And the away side had more chances to extend their lead when a run from Ryan Wignall saw him attempt to square the ball to Matty Owen who was ready to tap in from yards out, only for the chance to be blocked by a Sons defender at the last minute.
In the second half, The Nomads looked to defend their lead, making their first substitution in the 50th minute replacing Joe Heath with Sean Smith.
John Danby then pulled off a stunning save to deny Dumbarton forward Christian Nade, who sent a bicycle kick towards goal at close range forcing Danby to instinctively push the effort away for a corner.
Michael Bakare then came on in place of Matty Owen, and immediately tried to push the Nomads upfield, but his run was found offside.
With over an hour played, the game was beginning to show all the hallmarks of a professional away victory for Nomads, as although Dumbarton were seeing more possession in the Nomads’ half, John Danby remained unchallenged.
However, with a Nomads’ victory just nine minutes away, Dumbarton found their equaliser when after a corner for the home side, David Wilson struck a low finish inside a crowded Nomads area.
In the 85th minute The Nomads saw a chance go amiss in agonising fashion, when a Bakare shot deflected just a couple of yards from Callum Morris in front of the Sons’ goal.
After four minutes of injury time referee Ben Connolly signalled for full time confirming extra time would be played.
The first half of extra time was largely uneventful, with Nomads’ Bakare linking up with Wilde who was in front of goal but unable to get a shot away against the Dumbarton defence. In the 100th minute, Dumbarton passed well to get inside the Nomads area but McLaughlin sent his shot wide of goal.
The second half of extra time meant the prospect of a penalty shootout was only fifteen minutes away, and as the half went on it seemed all inside the Your Radio 103fm Stadium were resigned to that outcome.
Michael Bakare used his pace to push up for Nomads, going on a great run to beat three Dumbarton shirts, winning a free kick around 25 yards from goal which couldn’t be capitalised on.
The Nomads' final substitution saw Ryan Wignall replaced by Matty Williams as penalties looked inevitable with just four minutes to play and the score still 1-1.
However, the game was turned on its head in the final three minutes of play when after Horan made a challenge on Christian Nade, which was part of a game-long battle between the two strong players, The Nomads’ captain was sent off after being shown a second yellow.
New Dumbarton signing Dimitrios Froxylias stepped up to take free kick from Horan’s challenge, which was just outside of The Nomads’ area. His free kick hit the target and although Danby got a hand to it, the effort rolled across the line to hand Dumbarton a last gasp victory.
The result was a disappointing one for the travelling Nomads, who were left with nothing to show for a high quality performance against Scottish Championship opposition.
Andy Morrison’s side will now their turn their attentions to a JD Welsh Premier League fixture at home to Bala Town on Friday 7 September for a 7:45pm kick off.
Match report by Will Catterall
1. John Danby
3. Kai Edwards
5. George Horan
2. Mike Pearson
18. Joe Heath
6. Danny Harrison
7. Ryan Wignall
8. Callum Morris
16. Jay Owen
14. Matty Owen
9. Michael Wilde
20. Rhys Williams
10. Matty Williams
15. Sean Smith
22. Michael Bakare
23. Mathias Bakare
25. John Oyenuga
The Nomads' Goalscorers