CONNAH’S QUAY NOMADS claimed a 2-0 victory over Newtown at Latham Park in the final game of Phase One in the JD Cymru Premier on Saturday (Feb 26).
The Nomads came into this game on the back of a Nathaniel MG Cup final win against Cardiff Met and a crucial 2-0 victory over local rivals Flint Town, however, Nomads were frustrated in their last fixture in the JD Welsh Cup as Colwyn Bay stole a 2-0 quarter final win.
Saturday’s opponents, Newtown, came into the game having drawn twice against Cardiff Met with a 1-1 draw down at Cyncoed Campus and a 0-0 draw at Latham Park in the club’s 1000th fixture in the JD Cymru Premier.
Newtown began the match strong as Zeli Ismail had a great chance to open the scoring but his fierce effort from just inside the area fizzed wide of the top corner.
John Ufuah then showed his quality on his debut for Nomads as he used his pace to skip past Newtown’s Craig Williams but his eventual cross was cleared at the near post.
Nomads’ first shot on target came in the 12th minute as a corner fell out to Ryan Harrington who laid off to John Disney on the edge of the area but his powerful shot was down the throat of the goal and Newtown keeper Dave Jones was able to save comfortably.
John Ufuah got in behind the Newtown defence again and was brought down by Ryan Sears close to the touchline and referee Alex Livesey pulled out his yellow card for Sears.
The 23rd minute saw The Nomads awarded a penalty after Aeron Edwards and Craig Curran combined in the final third leading to Jake Walker challenging Edwards as he shot and the referee pointed straight to the spot.
Callum Morris made no mistake from 12 yards out as this time he calmly converted his penalty into the bottom right hand corner to give Nomads a 1-0 lead midway through the first half.
Newtown had a huge chance to equalise as Aaron Williams latched onto Lifumpa Mwandwe’s long ball but Williams’ effort was saved wonderfully by Ollie Byrne who got down low to make the crucial stop.
Newtown picked up another yellow card as their captain Craig Williams brought down John Ufuah and moments later, Newtown picked up a red card as Ryan Sears pulled back the arm of Craig Curran and Sears was given a second yellow for his troubles.
Minutes before half time, there was a stoppage in play as there was a clash of heads between Ryan Harrington and Jake Walker. This led to Jake Walker receiving a yellow card and Ryan Harrington being substituted by Craig Harrison and on came Jamie Mullan.
The half time whistle was blown and Nomads had steered into a 1-0 lead after Callum Morris’ penalty was converted after Aeron Edwards was fouled.
Newtown made a good start to the second half and came close to equalising again as Zeli Ismail came close to finding the bottom corner but Ollie Byrne dived to his left to deny him.
John Ufuah then found space on the left hand side but his effort from just inside the box was saved by Dave Jones as Nomads looked to add to their lead.
Nomads were nearly gifted a second by Newtown keeper Dave Jones as he dropped a loose ball which fell to Craig Curran but his shot on goal saw Jones redeem himself and made a vital save with his body.
The 68th minute saw Nomads grab their second of the afternoon as Jamie Mullan delivered a cracking cross from the right hand side which saw Craig Curran nod home into the bottom corner to double Nomads’ advantage.
Newtown then made their first change of the afternoon as Zeli Ismail came off for Nick Rushton. Nomads also made two changes as Byron Harrison and Mello Corbellini were introduced in place of goalscorer Craig Curran and John Ufuah who perfomed well in his first start for Nomads.
Jamie Mullan then had a glorious chance to get amongst the goals but at the crucial moment, he lost his footing and the shot was way wide of the bottom corner. Callum Roberts then saw himself in the book for Newtown for dissent.
Callum Morris almost bagged himself a brace as his effort from range almost curled into the top right hand corner but was blocked and trickled out for another Nomads corner.
As a result, the corner was cleared but Nomads took little time to create even more chances as Neal Eardley got behind Cal Roberts and took aim from inside the area but his shot thundered against the side netting and the scoreline remained 2-0.
The full time whistle was blown by Alex Livesey and The Nomads had secured three impressive points in their final phase one fixture after a calm penalty from Callum Morris and a great header from Craig Curran were enough to see off Newtown after a tense battle.
Nomads now wait for the conclusion of the hearing taking place on Wednesday March 2nd following the recent charge by the FAW which will no doubt have an impact on the remainder of our season.
Match report by Adam Angerer
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