Defeat for Nomads in Irn-Bru Cup Final but leave Scotland with their “heads held high”
Three goals in the final fifteen minutes saw Ross County beat Connah’s Quay Nomads 3-1 to lift the IRN-BRU Cup at the Caledonian Stadium in Inverness, reports wpl.cymru
Nomads took a first half lead through Michael Bakare, and should have been further in front at the break, but had to withstand copious County pressure in the second half until the breakthrough was made.
[Nomads celebrate Bakare’s goal]
The game got off to an even start in the first twenty minutes. County looked dangerous with their build up play, the Nomads relying a lot on the long ball and Andy Owens’ long throws to target the Staggies’ defence.
The visitors grew in confidence though after fifteen or so, and it was a long ball that saw the breakthrough, County failing to deal with a John Danby knock, and it fell to Michael Bakare who took it to the edge of the box and rifled one into the top corner.
[Michael Bakare’s well taken goal – credit Sgorio]
Nomads should have been two up minutes later. A corner was knocked on towards Horan, and the centre-back fired over from eight yards
Wilde then headed a free kick just wide, before Owens was gifted the ball in the County box after a mistake from Ross Munro, but the keeper recovered to save the striker’s effort.
County had a spell of pressure towards the end of the half, but struggled to test John Danby in the Nomads goal, while in stoppage time at the end of the half Bakare swung a corner onto the bar for the Nomads.
County started the second half strong, and somehow failed to go level when Ross Stewart hit the post from yards out after Danby failed to collect a cross and it fell to the striker.
[Inverness – an 800 mile round trip for the Nomads faithfull]
The Staggies went close again moments later when several of their players beat the offside trap from a well worked free-kick. Keith Watson failed to get a clean header in though, and Danby cleared.
County kept the pressure on, Declan McManus forcing Danby into a smart save, before a quick free kick saw Brian Graham find space in the box, the forward firing over from ten yards.
Stewart went close again for County, his header again calling Danby into action, the keeper tipping it over for a corner.
Nomads had withstood an onslaught for the first twenty minutes after the break, but they were eventually breached with fifteen minutes to play, sub Josh Mullin latching onto a lovely through ball to slide the ball between the legs of Danby and in from the angle.
[The Staggies lift the IRN BRU Cup]
That turned the game. Four minutes later Mullin struck again, lashing home from the edge of the box after Stewart held the ball up and teed the sub up nicely.
Nomads tried to respond, but the exertion of having kept County at bay for so long caught up with them, and Jamie Lindsay’s curler from just inside the box with four to go sealed the trophy for County.
Special mention to all @the_nomads fans for all there support this season to date and in particular today. 800 plus mile trip and constant noise through out today’s game which was outstanding. Crowd base growing across Deeside no question. #community https://t.co/25ag41oNuI
— Jay Catton (@JayCatton) March 23, 2019
After the game Nomads boss Andy Morrison rued three big missed chances, he said:
“We played against a good team and we caught them by surprise
We had three unbelievable chances and you have to take two of them, then it changes the complex of the game.”
“Every goal they scored was a mistake (by Nomads), somebody switched off, somebody got done on the inside run, just tiny little details and at the top level against top players if you do switch off they’ll find you out.
They found those little pockets just in behind and down the sides when we switched off, maybe at a different level they wouldn’t see it so quick, but these are good players.”
“We’ll leave here today with our heads held high, you saw the way they celebrated the victory, that’s not a little team from Wales you know, we’ve given them a right ask today.”
“I was always impressed with this very good outfit (Ross County) great credit to them, well done to them.”
“But you know, we’ll dust ourselves down and get ready for another big one next week.
I’m delighted, I’m proud of the boys, we dared to dream for a little bit but when the three chances came, you must take them at this level.”
Feature Image: SPGL
Match Report: WPL
Stats Graphic: BBC
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