Connah’s Quay lifted the first silverware of the Welsh domestic season as Jamie Insall’s stunning volley wrapped up a dominant 3-0 against STM Sports in the Nathaniel MG Cup final.
The Nomads were always going to be strong favourites coming up against Cymru South STM at Newtown’s Latham Park and Andy Morrison’s side, although it took them until the 30th-minute to stamp their authority on the game.
Michael Wilde, who had been a menacing presence inside the STM Sports goalmouth through the opening stages, met Michael Bakare’s precise delivery from the right flank with a thumping header past Ben Boyer.
Shortly before the interval, another Wilde header -this time latching on to a delivery from the left – sent the Nomads into the break with a 2-0 lead.
It was always going to take a momentus turnaround if the St. Melon’s side were going to wrestle the trophy out of Connah’s Quay’s grasp. Any hope of such a comeback were quickly extinguished early in the second-half as the Nomads grabbed another immediately from the re-start. Michael Wilde’s knock-down was plucked out of the year by a delightful arching volley from Jamie Insall that effectively secured Connah’s Quay the League Cup trophy, their first since 1996.
Lewis Brass: 6. Largely untested on what was a quiet game for the Nomads stopper.
Priestley Farquharson: 8. Powerful, energetic and covered a lot of ground. A dominant figure in the opposing half and always keen to get on the ball and influence.
Danny Holmes: 7. Defensively sound, more advanced in the second-half. Didn’t put a foot wrong.
George Horan: 6. Lynchpin at the centre of defence, sat back, will have busier evenings.
Kris Owens: 6. Brought some pace on what was a quiet evening for the Nomads rearguard. Alert when needed.
Michael Bakare: 9. In and out of the Nomads team this season but at his best this afternoon. His pace, trickery and quality in delivery made him unplayable and he ran the game in the final third.
Jay Owen: 7. Broke up play but similarly to Danny Harrison, helped transition the Nomads from defence to attack.
Danny Harrison: 7.5. Assured in as a defensive figure in front of the back three but also comfortable dispatching the ball upfield to get the Nomads on the front foot.
Callum Morris: 8. Another hard-working performer to keep the ball ticking over for the Nomads. Great engine.
Jamie Insall: 8. Added flair and quality to the final third, buzzed around the box and showed his class with a stunning volley which sealed the win.
Michael Wilde: *STAR MAN* 9. A proper old-fashioned centre-forward. His strength, movement and aerial prowess made him unstoppable. Rewarded with 2 goals.
Subs – Chris Curan 6, Sameron Dool 6, John Disney 6.
Ben Boyer: 7. Struggled initially against the imposing threat of Michael Wilde but grew in confidence as the game wore on and went on to make a number of impressive saves.
Hermon Yohanes: 6. Committed performance from the right-back but tormented by Bakare throughout. Damage limitation.
Riccardo Mackenzie: 5. Endured a difficult evening coming up against untouchable Nomads duo Bakare and Farquharson.
David Biggs: 6. Battled away all evening in central defence as they attempted to thwart Nomads attack.
Chris Hajgato: 6. Like Biggs, battled away all game but came of second-best against Insall et al.
Joey Evans: 7. Had a busy shift trying to protect the back four
Tom Rutherford: 6. Spent much of the game chasing the ball with Nomads rampant. Perhaps fortunate to stay on after a high challenge in second-half.
Marcus Jones: 7.5. Neat and tidy in possession and needed to be hard-working without possession. Looked like he could step up a level. Kept going in an uphill struggle to win midfield battle.
Callum Bateman: 6.5. Was never able to exploit his pace and really test the defence with Nomads dominant.
Ben Ahmun: 6.5. Focal point for STM Sports going forward but isolation limited his effectiveness
Josh Graham:6.5. Lack of opportunities going forward but continued to probe in an attempt to break the Nomads defensive line.
Subs: Chris Worsley, 6.5. Thoma Frick, 6. Sam Cauley 6.
Featured image courtesy of Connah’s Quay Nomads