CONNAH’S QUAY NOMADS defeated Bala Town by two goals to nil at Deeside on Tuesday evening in the JD Cymru Premier.
A Declan Poole goal in the 86th minute, followed by a George Horan goal on 89 minutes, saw Nomads stay level on points with league leaders TNS who they face on Saturday.
The game marked the start of a major four fixtures which could well decide the fate of the JD Cymru Premier title, with Nomads facing both Bala and TNS twice in just 10 days.
Andy Morrison’s side came into the game following a hard fought 1-0 win over Barry Town, whilst Bala were also in good form after a 5-2 victory over Caernarfon Town.
There was just one change to the Nomads’ starting lineup, with Aeron Edwards coming in for Danny Holmes. John Disney was meanwhile handed his 100th JD Cymru Premier start for Nomads, adding another milestone to his Nathaniel MG Cup and JD Cymru Premier-winning career so far.
Bala Town meanwhile started Chris Venables, who was chasing down his 200th league goal, alongside Raul Correia who scored against Nomads in their 3-1 victory over Bala at Maes Tegid in phase one.
The game started with a series of aerial balls, and as it went on it was clear Nomads were in for another battle at Deeside.
The two sides looked to break each other down by winning set pieces in their final thirds, but throw-ins from Johnny Hunt and a corner for Bala failed to create any clear cut chances.
After 20 minutes, Nomads were getting into the Bala end, seeing Neil Danns get onto a Declan Poole cross to head over close to goal, with the offside flag cancelling out the chance.
In the 27th, they had one of their best chances of the half when an Ollie Byrne free kick from range looked to be looping in, only for Chris Venables to make a goal line clearance to keep things level.
As the 30th minute passed, both sides continued to look for a breakthrough. In injury time of the first half, John Disney went for goal and nearly got on the scoresheet to mark his 100th league start, sending a low shot from around 15 yards just wide of the left post.
During the break, Andy Morrison moved to make two changes, bringing on Jamie Insall and Craig Curran in place of Johnny Hunt and Neil Danns to bolster the Nomads’ attack.
After the restart, the two sides soon locked horns again, largely cancelling each other out with aerial balls into the respective areas being dealt with. In goal, Ollie Byrne and Alex Ramsay were staying sharp to collect the regular crosses coming to their areas.
With 20 minutes to go and the game still a stalemate, Andy Morrison made a further change, introducing Aron Williams for John Disney. The substitute got involved immediately, using his strength to make runs down the wing and targeting the Bala end with his long throw-ins.
On the 78th minute, Nomads had their closest chance so far with George Horan sending a close-range header goalwards, only for Ramsay to pull off a great save to keep the game level.
Three minutes later, Ramsay did the exact same, denying Insall this time in the 81st minute, leaving Nomads scratching their heads at how they hadn’t taken the lead.
On 84 minutes, they were again excruciatingly close, with Wilde sending an acrobatic effort to goal, with the ball nearly sent in on the line in a packed Bala area, but the Lakesiders again cleared at the last minute.
Just as the game looked to be ending goalless, Declan Poole finally found the breakthrough with a powerful effort from the edge of the Bala area, finding the bottom left corner in the 86th.
Nomads had taken the lead in dramatic fashion, and didn’t stop there as they dominated the possession, keeping Bala in their own area.
This paid dividends as the 89th minute came, with George Horan getting a head on a Declan Poole corner kick to seal a late victory for his side.
The result sets up a grandstand meeting with current league leaders TNS at Park Hall, who Nomads are neck and neck with in the JD Cymru Premier on 66 points each.
The game kicks off on Saturday 24th April at Park Hall, and will be broadcast live on S4C Sgorio.
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