Friday 8th December
Connah’s Quay Nomads 5-1 Aberystwyth Town
Aberystwyth Town fell to a resounding 5-1 defeat at the hands of Connah’s Quay Nomads on a bitterly cold Friday evening at the Deeside Stadium. Michael Wilde nodded the hosts ahead after just 7 minutes, before John Owen levelled for Aber on 15 minutes. But soon after the hosts again went ahead through Michael Bakare (17), and goals from Wilde (44), Kai Edwards (70) and Melford Simpson (90) rounded off a deeply disappointing evening for Nev Powell’s side.
After Aber’s players and supporters had struggled to make it to Deeside due to the adverse weather conditions, the delayed kick off seemed to affect Town’s start to the game as the Nomads came out of the traps at full speed. The hosts earned a series of early corners thanks to tricky wing play from Michael Bakare, and on 7 minutes they found the breakthrough as Michael Wilde found space in the penalty area to head the ball over the line via the crossbar and make it 1-0. Aber responded well to going behind, as Craig Hobson almost found a way through to goal after a neat turn and Ryan Wade forced a couple of dangerous set piece opportunities. On 15 minutes, Aber found the equaliser as John Owen latched on to an inch-perfect through ball by Malcolm Melvin, before slotting the ball past John Danby into the top corner of the net to make it 1-1. The hardened away supporters who had made the epic journey to Deeside were suddenly in full voice. But just ninety seconds later, the hosts were back in front as Bakare cut inside on to his right foot before curling an effort beyond Chris Mullock and into the far corner of the net to make it 2-1. The Nomads continued to press and unsettle Aber’s rhythm on what was a difficult playing surface, and almost extended their lead on 29 minutes as right back Sean Smith hit the crossbar with an audacious effort. Despite being on the back-foot, Town continued to create openings as Hobson sent a shot wide of the post before Declan Walker forced a fine save from Danby with a long-range effort. However, on the stroke of half time the hosts landed another body blow as Wilde again rose highest to meet Matty Owen’s left footed corner and make it 3-1; a real sucker punch for Aber as the sides went in at the break.
Aber started the second half with purpose, as Hobson earned a couple of free kicks in dangerous positions and Ashley Young sent a dangerous long throw into the penalty area which came to no avail. On 55 minutes, Declan Walker again tried his luck with a long-range free kick, which clipped the wall and sailed over the crossbar before Hobson saw his left-footed volley go wide of the post. The visitors tried as they might but were unable to find a way past the resolute Nomads defence. On 70 minutes, the hosts well and truly put the game to bed as Kai Edwards was left unmarked at the far post to tap the ball into an empty net from Matty Owen’s precise pass and make it 4-1. Aber looked deflated, and made a couple of substitutions to try and find some form of consolation as Luke Borrelli and Geoff Kellaway replaced Joe Phillips and Malcolm Melvin. The hosts managed the game well, and looked the more likely to score again as the game entered its final stages. And indeed, on 90 minutes, the Nomads rubbed salt into the wound as Callum Morris crossed the ball for substitute Melford Simpson to tap in from close range and make it 5-1.
A thoroughly disappointing evening for Aber after what had been a string of excellent performances in recent weeks. Even Nomads manager Andy Morrison admitted after the game that the score-line flattered the hosts, although no one can deny their victory was certainly deserved. Town must now turn their attentions to next Saturday’s vital home game against Prestatyn Town, where Nev Powell’s men will look to make it three consecutive victories in all competitions at Park Avenue.