CONNAH’S QUAY NOMADS defeated Cefn Druids by two goals to nil at The Rock on Friday evening (Aug 13).

A first half own goal from Joseph Faux and George Horan header was enough to see Nomads’ record their first win of the season at the first time of asking.

The game marked the start of the JD Cymru Premier season for Nomads, who had already been in action for two months thanks to their displays in the Champions League and Europa Conference League.

In the previous week, they had kicked off the domestic campaign with a 2-0 win over Llandudno in the Nathaniel MG Cup. Andy Morrison made a number of changes from that starting eleven, as George Horan, Jamie Insall and Tom Mooore all returned to the XI.

Nomads also named one of their youngest ever benches, as U19s Iwan Roberts, Josh Williams, Jordan Pownall and Toby Gallagher-Keenan were all called up to the senior first team squad.

After both sides continued to take the knee ahead of kick off, Nomads’ league season started and they secured their first goal in under two minutes.

After a long Kris Owens throw in was headed towards goal by Jordan Davies, the ball took a deflection off Druids’ Joseph Faux, which went down as an own goal to give Nomads their early lead.

Connah’s Quay kept the pressure on from then on, breaking into the Druids end regularly with dangerous looking runs from the likes of Aron Williams and Jamie Mullan on the wings. This led to a series of set pieces and crosses targeting the Druids goalmouth.

In the 17th minute, having helped force the opening own goal, Jordan Davies had the net in from a header on a Williams cross, but this was ruled out by the referee due to the ball going out of play.

After 30 minutes, Nomads had a tight grip on the proceedings, keeping the Druids defence constantly busy whilst Ollie Byrne in goal for Connah’s Quay Nomads remained untested.

Jamie Mullan made a rapid run into the area after beating his man in a challenge on the wing, and sent a powerful effort at keeper Michael Jones which he just about held to deny him.

One of the game’s key talking points came in the 35th minute, when George Horan had headed into the goal following another Owens throw-in.

The goal was initially given by referee Rob Jenkins, but after protests from the Druids players, a conversation with his assistants followed and Nomads’ second was chalked off for offside, despite two Cefn Druids players standing on the line at the time.

At half time, Nomads went in as the team on top, but were left ruing their chances to make it 2-0 before the break via Horan’s headed effort.

They came out in the second half and immediately resumed their dominance, with the captain Horan looking determined to get the goal he’d been denied in the first. In the 47th, he went agonisingly close with a header off the crossbar from another targeted Owens throw-in.

But in the 55th he made no mistake, rising highest in the Druids area to send a header right under the crossbar and in to finally give Nomads a two goal lead.

Although Druids tried to get back into the game, they were unable to keep the ball against a relentless and disciplined Nomads side who were earning sustained periods of possession across the pitch as the hour mark passed.

With cross after cross reaching the host’s final third, Andy Morrison made his first change with 15 minutes to play, introducing Tom Bibby in place of Aron Williams who had proven highly effective on the night.

In the 79th, George Horan came close to another, taking control of the ball to the left of the area from around 10 yards on an angle, shooting across the face of the goal.

The final ten minutes saw Nomads see the game out comfortably, having long established their hold on the game ever since the opening goal.

18-year old Harry Owen was introduced for the latter stage of the game in place of Tom Moore, and after three minutes of injury time, Connah’s Quay had successfully kickstarted their season with a commanding 2-0 victory.

They will now turn their attentions to their first JD Cymru Premier home game of the season, facing Aberystwyth Town at the Deeside Stadium for a 7:45pm kick off.

Match report by Will Catterall