SATURDAY afternoon (Dec 11) saw Connah’s Quay Nomads play out a 0-0 stalemate against Cardiff Met in the 16th round of fixtures in the JD Cymru Premier League.

The Nomads come into this fixture against Cardiff Met on the back of outstanding form with recent hard fought wins against Aberystwyth Town and Bala Town in the cup, who The Nomads defeated in order to earn a future cup final against today’s opponents Cardiff Met. The Nomads come into this game unbeaten in their last nine and look to continue their top six push.

The opponents for today’s match, Cardiff Met have seen themselves recently suffer four back-to-back defeats but have had joy domestically as they defeated Barry Town 3-2 in the cup semi-final to book that all important fixture with The Nomads next year.

The first seconds of the half saw The Nomads nearly take an early lead as Kris Owens delivered an exquisite cross onto the head of the in-form Paulo Mendes whose header just whistled past the post.

Cardiff then had an attack of their own in the early minutes as Harry Owen went for the spectacular from 20 yards out but his shot flew over the bar. This was shortly followed by a yellow card for Craig Curran for a foul on Emlyn Lewis.

Cardiff Met then maintained their pressure as Adam Roscrow found space on the right hand side and looked to curl an effort into the top right hand corner but the shot was over the top and Ollie Byrne was yet to be called into action.

Nomads then had joy down the right and left hand sides during the next ten minutes but crosses from the likes of Ryan Harrington and Declan Poole could not reach Nomads striker Craig Curran to create any efforts on target.

The 25th minute saw Cardiff Met forward Adam Roscrow find space from an attack but as he turned and shot, he did not get full control and the effort was wide of the target so the score remained 0-0.

Two minutes later, Nomads sent in a corner from the left in towards the towering George Horan who headed back across to Declan Poole but his looping header trickled over the top and out for a Met goal kick. This led to another Nomads attack which saw Ryan Harrington drive into the final third and fiercely drive an effort towards goal but Alex Lang comfortably stopped the shot.

The biggest chance of the first half came from a Cardiff Met corner which fell to the feet of Harry Owen but his hard, low shot was saved outstandingly by Nomads keeper Ollie Byrne.

The final ten minutes of the first half concluded with little chances from both sides as they both respectfully cancelled each other out. Both teams therefore went into the break with all work to do in order to find the all-important breakthrough.

The second half got underway with Cardiff Met making their first sub of the afternoon as Matt Chubb was introduced in place of Kyle McCarthy. George Horan then picked up a yellow card as he battled for the ball in the centre of the park.

The 56th minute saw Cardiff Met apply similar pressure to what they had shown in the first half as Thomas Price sent in a chipped ball but no Cardiff Met player could make the final touch and Ollie Byrne calmly collected the ball.

The first substitute for Nomads came in the 59th minute as Jamie Insall was brought on for the last half hour in place of Jamie Mullan. Jamie Insall then showed instant impact as he played a through ball into Craig Curran who turned onto his right foot and his shot smacked the crossbar and Cardiff Met cleared the danger.

The second sub for Nomads came five minutes after this, as Aron Williams was introduced up front and off came Craig Curran. From the long throw, Nomads had the ball in the back of the net thanks to Jamie Insall but the referee’s assistant, Ceri Williams had raised her flag for offside and Nomads were left frustrated.

The 74th minute saw yet another Cardiff Met long ball be played into the area and as Ollie Byrne could only parry it out into the six yard box, Joe Evans then pounced but John Disney showed his outstanding defensive ability to block Evans’ effort.

A minute later, Nomads continued to be frustrated as Ryan Harrington and Declan Poole as they played a sublime pass and go which led to Harrington lobbing the ball over the top and releasing Paulo Mendes through on goal but the offside flag was raised yet again.

The 77th minute saw The Nomads hit the woodwork for the second time as George Horan flicked a header onto Jamie Insall whose acrobatic effort bundled off the outside of the post.

Cardiff Met then quickly countered and released Adam Roscrow through up against Ryan Harrington but as Roscrow pulled back Harrington, Roscrow tripped over Harrington and the referee deemed Harrington to have fouled Roscrow but Cardiff Met could not make anything of the free kick as Roscrow’s shot was way over the top.

Nomads then had the ball in the back of the net for another time as Aeron Edwards flicked on his header into the feet of George Horan who was left with an easy tap in but Ceri Williams’ flag went up again and The Nomads’ frustration continued to be evident as we reached the latter stages of the match.

The final few minutes saw both teams look for crosses and runs down the wings but both sides’ defence continued to stay strong. Even with an additional three minutes to be played, this was not enough to see anyone get the all-important goal and so the full whistle blew with both sides taking home a point after a hard-fought battle.

On Saturday, December 18, the Nomads host Haverfordwest County while Cardiff Met host Barry Town United.