EASTER Monday saw Connah’s Quay Nomads defeat Haverfordwest County 3-0 in the penultimate fixture of the JD Cymru Premier Play-Off Conference thanks to a brace from Callum Morris and a stunner from Declan Poole.
The Nomads came into this game undefeated in Phase Two and have embraced the challenge put forward after Byron Harrison came up clutch in a recent draw against Barry as well as grabbing an assist and a goal in a huge victory over Cardiff Met on Good Friday which has kept up the fight for survival in the JD Cymru Premier.
As for Haverfordwest, they come into this fixture with their safety confirmed as Jordan Davies bagged a brace against Barry in a 2-0 win.
Prior to their victory over Barry, Haverfordwest saw off Druids in a 6-1 triumph to maintain their push for seventh position in the Play-Off conference.
Craig Harrison named an unchanged starting eleven from the win over Cardiff Met as John Disney remained in the back four due to George Horan’s suspension and Paulo Mendes retaining his place in midfield after putting in a man of the match performance on Good Friday.
Haverfordwest made just the one change to the side that defeated Barry as Nomads loanee Jordan Davies was unable to face his parent club, so Ricky Watts came in to replace him in attack.
Nomads almost got off to the perfect start as Byron Harrison managed to get down the byline and look for a square ball into Paulo Mendes which was cleared at the front post by the Haverfordwest defence.
Just minutes later, Mello Corbellini and Byron Harrison combined well before Mello looked to release Aeron Edwards through down the left hand side but was denied by Jazz Richards who tracked back and reclaimed possession for the visitors.
The 15 minute mark saw Haverfordwest have their first big chance of the afternoon as a low ball into Ricky Watts saw Neal Eardley make a fantastic sliding block to deny the away side of the opener.
Haverfordwest kept up their early spells of pressure as Ben Fawcett latched onto a ball over the top but his low drive towards the bottom corner went wide of Ollie Byrne’s goal.
Nomads were awarded a penalty on the half hour mark as referee Cheryl Foster spotted a handball from Ricky Watts and with no hesitation, she pointed straight to the spot giving Callum Morris the chance to give Nomads the lead.
Morris made no mistake from 12 yards as he converted his penalty into the bottom left hand corner, sending Lee Idzi the wrong way and putting Nomads 1-0 up.
Mello then had an effort saved by Idzi as he dribbled into the area and unleashed a powerful strike towards the top corner which Idzi was alert to and made the save.
Moments after, Nomads almost doubled their lead as Declan Poole raced down the right before delivering into an unmarked Paulo Mendes whose downwards header went agonisingly wide.
Just before half time, Nomads did double their lead as Kris Owens’ corner found the head of Byron Harrison who nodded back across goal before Callum Morris was on point to see the ball over the line and grab a first half brace, equalling Micheal Wilde’s tally of 81 goals for The Nomads, putting him joint fourth in the club’s all time records.
The beginning of the second half saw Haverfordwest’s Jack Wilson break free and look to deliver a low ball into the danger zone but Danny Holmes was there to make a great clearance and keep the scoreline 2-0.
Nomads increased their lead as Declan Poole cut inside from the right and sent a tremendous left footed effort beyond Idzi and into the top corner to make it 3-0 to and send Nomads on course for another three points.
Callum Morris proved to be an attacking threat again as he fed Mello in down the left hand side which saw Mello send a fierce ball across the face of the six yard box but nobody was there to get the all important touch.
Nomads made their first changes of the afternoon as Craig Curran replaced Byron Harrison and Jamie Mullan was introduced in place of goalscorer Declan Poole.
Haverfordwest had themselves a free kick in a dangerous position which Elliot Scotcher put in towards the near post but Nomads managed to avert the danger.
The Nomads came close to making to four with ten minutes to go as both substitutes almost combined as Jamie Mullan found Craig Curran whose header was on target but was caught safely by Lee Idzi.
The Nomads made the last of their changes as Jamie Insall, Ryan Harrington and U19 star Josh Williams entered the pitch in place of Mello Corbellini, Neal Eardley and Aeron Edwards.
Lee Idzi was to be tested yet again by The Nomads frontline as deep into stoppage time, Paulo Mendes slotted in Jamie Insall but the number 10’s effort was denied by a diving save.
The full time whistle blew and after suffering a setback in March following an 18-point deduction, the Nomads had all but confirmed their JD Cymru Premier status and with the result in the late kick off seeing Aberystwyth pick up all three points at Aberystwyth, the Nomads place in the JD Cymru Premier was secured.
After being six points adrift of safety at the beginning of Phase Two, an incredible unbeaten run has seen the Nomads fight back and earn the opportunity to potentially go top of the Play-Off Conference in seventh place.
Nomads will have this opportunity next weekend as they travel to Aberystwyth on Saturday, April 23, with a scheduled 12:45pm kick off to be held.
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