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Gap Connahs Quay

Newtown v
Gap Connahs Quay

Kick off:14:30 Saturday, 8 Sept 2012
at Latham Park, Newtown
Fixture Type: Welsh Premier League
Attendance: 216

Referee: Brian James

Petrie brace and late Healey strike at Newtown sends Nomads up to Third

Shane Sutton opens the scoring (Kevin Hughes)

Shane Sutton opens the scoring (Kevin Hughes)

Nomads continue to confound the bookies and recorded a third succesive win with this victory at Newtown.

Nomads went on search of their first WPL away points after the late mugging at Bangor on the Leagues opening night. With Danny Forde still away in the USA, an unchanged side took to the Latham Park field.

Nomads began with a period of neat interpassing and the hosts seldom got the ball. Early chances fell to Gary O’Toole and Michael Thompson but one shot from too far out and the other drove a vicious shot just over. Then on the quarter hour the first half changed. Thompson and Ricky Evans combined to put Chris Rowntree into the box unmarked. He hit a well struck shot which rattled against the crossbar when it seemed far easier to score.

Newtown seemed stunned into life and their three man midfield began to impose themselves with Matty Cooke at the heart of everything. A corner on 21 minutes was headed against a defender, then a Robins forward mishit a shot but got lucky when the ball fell at Shane Sutton’s feet almost on the line. He reacted well and put the ball home. There was a decent spell of possession for Newtown, but nothing that caused John Rushton to exert himself. On the break Michael Thompson shot wide and then a great pass from Ricky Evans found Gary O’Toole on the edge of the box and in space. For once the Cymru Alliance “golden boot” miss controlled and the chance was gone.

Nearing the interval Newtown got in their first shot of the match. A clearance found Matty Cooke who rattled the cross bar with John rooted to the spot. Nomads continued to pass well and build up from the back and when a 44th minute long ball found Thompson; his neat pass saw a shot blocked but the rebound gave Jamie Petrie a clear sight of goal and he buried a quick left foot drive into the net.

Half time came and the teams went in level at 1-1.

Mark McGregor and his coaching team adjusted the Nomads formation at Half time and consequently, the second half saw constant Nomads possession and a series of quick breaks. Newtown were forced to play long, which the Deeside defence coped with very comfortably. Our task was made easier when Newtown surprised everyone by replacing Matty Cooke with a third big forward. He was the one man who was giving them any presence in midfield. They tried to hit deep crosses over our dominant defence but found John Rushton in great catching form, no doubt inspired by having brother Nick watching, after Wrexham had left him at home instead of taking him to Cambridge.

A crucial Nomads second goal was coming and it duly arrived on 58 minutes. Jamie Petrie scored his second, capitalising on more poor marking to run across the box and turn to hit home another left foot strike from about 15 yards. Soon after, substitute Dean Canning was put in the clear but shot wide. Newtown lacked any penetration and it seemed that a very comfortable 2-1 win was on the cards. Then Rhys Healey struck a 90th minute shot which looked destined to beat Newtown keeper Dave Roberts to his left, but Penk’s attempted block looped the effort over the keepers head and into the net.

Newtown pride was hurt and the game ended with the Robins throwing all forward. In the 93rd minute a Zac Evans effort drew a brilliant diving save from John. Moments later the whistle sounded and we were on our way back to Deeside with all three points.

Connah’s Quay never really hit the heights in this easy victory. However, with John Rushton looking a very safe pair of hands and the defensive unit outclassing an ordinary attack, any other outcome looked unlikely. We must maintain the discipline and composure that has taken us to third in the table as there will be more difficult challenges ahead.