Cymru Premier: Nomads beat Flint in derby, while keeper French stars as Caernarfon hold Bala

Thrilling action from Nomads v Flint. Picture: NCM Media

Connah’s Quay Nomads 2 (Davies 10, Dool 71)
Flint Town United 0
Cymru Premier League – December 1, 2020

Goals from Danny Davies and Sameron Dool were enough to hand Nomads victory in this first top-flight derby with Flint since 1998.

The win moved the current champions to within three points of leaders The New Saints, who take on Cefn Druids on Wednesday.

Quay took the lead in the 10th minute thanks to a brilliant curling free kick from Davies on the edge of the Flint area, which went in off the post.

In the 25th minute, the Silkmen nearly equalised after a shot from Ben Maher deflected off the left Nomads post.

Flint kept the pressure on to force an even finish to the half. On 39 minutes, Mark Callawader’s header looked to be going just under the crossbar before being caught by home keeper Oliver Byrne.

The close contest continued after the break, with Davies finding George Horan, who headed the ball beyond Silkmen keeper John Danby only to be flagged offside.

Just past the hour mark, Flint’s Cadwallader went down in the box leading to claims for a penalty, but it was Nomads who were awarded a free kick by referee Aaron Wyn Jones with the visiting forward adjudged offside.

With 20 minutes to play, Nomads’ second substitute Dool scored within a minute of taking the field.

Dool drilled a low shot in left-footed from just outside the box to make it 2-0 and put his side in the driving seat.

Not resting on their lead, Andy Morrison’s men continued to create chances as they dominated the final few minutes.

Caernarfon Town 1 (N Edwards 20)
Bala Town 1 (Venables pen 45 + 2)
Cymru Premier – December 1, 2020

Tyler French stood out in goal on his WPL debut for Caernarfon. Picture: Paul Evans, CTFC

Goalkeeper Tyler French excelled on his Welsh Premier debut for Caernarfon as the Canaries halted a run of three straight home defeats with a deserved point against high-flying Bala.

French, promoted to the first team due to the suspension of regular keeper Josh Tibbetts, produced some superb stops to deny his former club maximum points at The Oval.

Both sides looked sharp from the start and there was very nearly an early goal for the Canaries with two minutes on the clock.

French launched a free kick from his own half into the visitors’ penalty area which was only half-cleared and Sion Bradley’s goalbound effort was deflected for a corner.

The hosts did take the lead on 20 minutes when Noah Edwards gave former Caernarfon keeper Alex Ramsay no chance after he was first to a loose ball and hit an instant shot into the left-hand corner of the goal from about 15 yards.

Huw Griffiths’ side should have doubled their lead two minutes later but a Mike Hayes effort hit the upright, before two further efforts, the latter by Sion Bradley, were cleared off the line by the desperate Bala back-line.

League top-scorer Chris Venables had a chance to equalise in the 26th minute but was denied by a superb stop from French.

The action was end to end, and Gareth Edwards got on the end of a fine Bradley cross on the half-hour, forcing Ramsay to tip his header onto the woodwork.

Having stopped the action at regular intervals throughout the first period, the referee was obliged to play injury time and, with two minutes of it already passed, the official deemed French to have taken down Will Evans in the box. Venables equalised from the spot with confidence.

After the break, Bala’s Evans had a promising effort blocked by Town’s Mike Parker, whilst a Venables header was saved smartly by French.

Bradley thought he had a strong shout for a penalty in the 52nd minute when it seemed he was bundled over just inside the area but the official waved play on.

There was nothing to choose between the sides but certainly it was Caernarfon who looked the more dangerous outfit in the latter stages, as Hayes, Jack Kenny and Noah Edwards all had goal attempts.

With the match entering injury time, Bradley forced a stunning save from Ramsay, who needed all his agility to stop his former team-mate’s effort from nestling into the bottom left hand corner of his goal.

On this showing, the Cofis may just be back in business and ready to ruffle a few feathers in the coming weeks.

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