Connah’s Quay Nomads 2 (Callum Morris pen 4, Les Davies 28)
The New Saints 0
JD Cymru Premier – Saturday 16th January 2016
Five years ago today Andy Morrison faced The New Saints as Connah’s Quay Nomads manager for the first time.
It was a memorable occasion, as not only did the Deesiders boss achieve a victory – his team also secured a first-ever Welsh Premier League Championship Conference place.
In the second phase of the 2015-16 campaign, the Quay had won the right to compete among the elite alongside TNS, MBi Llandudno, Bala Town, Airbus and Newtown.
Going into the TNS test, Nomads sat fifth and needed at least a point to make sure of top six football.
With Bangor, Aberystwyth, Newtown and Carmarthen all still mathematically capable of pipping the Nomads to an upper-half finish, the game was of vital importance to the club.
The challenge was further heightened by their opposition of the champions TNS, who were undefeated in their current Welsh Premier League campaign.
Nomads responded to the pressure on them in the best way possible, taking the lead in the fourth minute.
Awarded a penalty for handball, Callum Morris made no mistake from the spot.
Jamie Crowther had a great chance to score from eight yards after a Les Davies pass into the centre of the TNS area, but the effort was inadvertently blocked by Morris.
After a sustained period of pressure in the Saints’ half, the hosts notched their second goal in the 28th minute.
From a Nathan Woolfe corner, Davies rose highest in the area to head the ball in for 2-0.
In their closest effort of the half, Saints nearly hit back in odd fashion when a cross from Simon Spender brushed the underside of the Nomads’ crossbar.
The second half started more evenly than the first. Saints had a golden opportunity to get one back straight away, when Scott Quigley scuffed a shot eight yards from Nomads’ goal.
As the half went on, Nomads defended well against the champions.
Home fans were concerned when 15 minutes from full time, keeper John Danby went down after catching a TNS effort. Fortunately the Nomads custodian was able to see out the game.
The Deesiders stayed strong at the back and celebrated a landmark triumph at the final whistle.
Following the historic victory, manager Morrison told the Nomads website: “I’m so pleased for the lads, I put such pressure on them since the last game to prepare right, and be ready for what was coming today, and they carried it out absolutely to the letter.
“John Danby’s had one save in the 90th minute from a free kick which bounced before him, and so that’s testament that if you do things right, you can stifle TNS.”
Morrison continued: “Everyone to a man gave everything and they are shattered… I’m proud as punch today and that’s where Connah’s Quay should be.”