3 - 1
The New Saints FC vs Connah's Quay Nomads
JD Cymru Premier
Friday 20th April 2018 | 7:45pm
Park Hall, Oswestry | Attendance: 313
Connah’s Quay Nomads' six game winning streak came to an end on Friday night as they succumbed to a 3-1 defeat by The New Saints at Park Hall in the penultimate JD Welsh Premier League fixture of the season.
The Nomads came into the game in stunning form, having won each of their past six games, including consecutive wins over European qualification rivals Bangor City.
They sat second and three points above Bangor in third, knowing three more points from their last two games would be all but secure automatic Europa League qualification and second place.
The Nomads made two changes to the starting lineup, with Rob Hughes and Jay Owen replacing the suspended Jonny Spittle and an injured Ryan Wignall.
The game began and an even opening played out, with The Nomads forcing a number of set pieces with Andy Owens using his strength and height to try and get on the end of the ball in the TNS area.
TNS’ attacking midfielder Ryan Brobbel had a shot from 20 yards out saved by John Danby, before he dribbled into the area in the 22nd minute only to be denied by the open palm of The Nomads' 'keeper.
After Greg Draper sent a 25 yard effort wide for TNS, Declan Poole pressured a defender well to force a corner, which swung close to the goal mouth thanks to Hughes’ delivery, but it was caught by TNS 'keeper Paul Harrison.
In the 32nd minute, The Nomads capitalised on their attacking play, when Michael Bakare skipped past the TNS defence to send a shot just off Harrison and into the bottom right corner of the net.
Buoyed by their lead, The Nomads continued to attack and finished the first half in a strong position.
Andy Owens made a darting run into the TNS box to try and get a shot away, before Rob Hughes ran across the TNS byline, sending an angled shot towards goal which was dealt with by Paul Harrison.
In the second half it was clear both teams were eager to go at goal, with TNS forcing an early corner before Andy Owens went through on goal but had his shot saved on 52 minutes.
The Nomads were applying their pace and skill to effectively attack the TNS end, with a corner ball triggering frantic play in the area in the 57th minute.
But the hosts found a way back into the game when Jay Owen brought down Ryan Brobbel in The Nomads’ area. On 58 minutes, Greg Draper stepped up and converted despite Danby getting a hand to the spot kick.
With the game level, TNS increased their share of possession in the game and capitalised by taking the lead on 67 minutes.
After making a surging run into The Nomads’ final third, Ryan Pryce lifted an effort into the right side of the net to give his side the lead for the first time in the game.
The Nomads remained well in the game and were working furiously hard to find an equaliser, bringing on Nathan Woolfe in place of Rob Hughes.
With Nomads’ chances on goal being restricted, Michael Wilde and Jake Phillips were brought on for the final 10 minutes of the game, replacing Jay Owen and Declan Poole.
Hopes of a result were however all but diminished on 85 minutes, when Greg Draper secured his brace with an angled shot which curled into the net from eight yards out.
At full time, The Nomads’ defeat was confirmed, but their hopes of qualifying for the Europa League and Irn Bru Cup remain intact going into the final game of the JD Welsh Premier season.
The Nomads play their closing game of the season away at The Rock against Cefn Druids on Friday 27th April for a 7:45pm kick off.
Match report by Will Catterall
John Danby gets a hand to Greg Draper's penalty - © NCM Media
Michael Bakare gives The Nomads the lead - © NCM Media
Callum Morris again captained the side in George Horan's absence - © NCM Media
Andy Owens strikes for goal - © NCM Media
Kai Edwards heads close against his old side - © NCM Media
1. John Danby
3. Kai Edwards
6. Danny Harrison
2. Mike Pearson
15. Sean Smith
12. Declan Poole
8. Callum Morris
16. Jay Owen
21. Rob Hughes
22. Michael Bakare
10. Andy Owens
20. Rhys Williams
9. Michael Wilde
11. Nathan Woolfe
18. Joe Heath
19. Jake Phillips
61. Owen Manley
63. Dominic McHugh
The Nomads' Goalscorers