The New Saints 1 (Brobbel 23)
Connah’s Quay Nomads 4 (Wilde 8, 30 & 45 +2; Insall 57)
JD Cymru Premier League – April 24, 2021
Michael Wilde’s first-half hat-trick put Nomads on the way to what could prove a pivotal victory in the Cymru Premier title race.
With five matches apiece remaining, Andy Morrison’s side now lead Saints by three points and on this form look dead certs to retain their hold on the league championship.
There is still much football to be played, with TNS still to visit Deeside Stadium, but tonight the Quay were awesome and surely produced their finest display under Morrison’s five-year managership.
Nomads also claimed their first away win over their arch rivals since they have played under the names Total Network Solutions or The New Saints. Quay’s last such success was on the ground of predecessor Llansantffraid in 1995.
TNS started the better in front of the live TV cameras, but the visitors edged ahead on eight minutes when the 37-year-old veteran Wilde outjumped giant defender Blaine Hudson to head home Declan Poole’s cross from the right.
Ryan Brobbel and Adrian Cieslewicz had efforts for the hosts before Nomads keeper Ollie Byrne produced a magnificent one-handed stop from an Anthony Robles downward close-range header.
The equaliser came on 23 minutes when Brobbel cut in from the left-hand side of the box and drilled in right-footed for his ninth goal in seven outings.
Suddenly, this was no phony war like so many other top-two clashes. Both teams were going at it toe-to-toe and what a treat it was to see.
Saints again looked the more threatening before on the half-hour, Kris Owens lofted into the box from a central position, Danny Davies rose to head across the six-yard box and there was poacher Wilde to finish in style.
Brobbel fired inches wide before Jamie Insall’s back header from another good nod forward from Davies could only find the grateful hands of keeper Paul Harrison.
Then in the second minute of added time came a crucial Nomads third. John Disney lobbed the ball into the area and once more Wilde caught the Saints defence napping to head past Harrison.
A stunning first half effort from the striker, who recently passed the 200-goals mark in the league.
Half-time: TNS 1 Nomads 3
In a lively start to the second half, Hudson headed off target when he should have done better before the Deesiders added a fourth.
Keeper Byrne delivered a free kick from deep in his own half and Chris Marriott could only back-head the ball into the path of Insall, who needed no second invitation to lash home.
Eight minutes from time, Saints had a chance of a consolation when Davies nudged over Hudson in the box, but Greg Draper’s penalty was kept out and kicked away by Byrne before anyone could go for the loose ball.
A minute from time Brobbel hit a firm low shot, but Byrne went down well again to save.
Nomads were simply magnificent with Wilde the undisputed man of the match.
The New Saints: Paul Harrison, Simon Spender (Jamie Mullan 68), Chris Marriott, Jon Routledge, Ryan Brobbel, Daniel Redmond, Adrian Cieslewicz, Blaine Hudson, Ryan Astles, Louis Robles (Adam Roscrow 58), Ben Clark (Greg Draper 61).
Connah’s Quay Nomads: Oliver Byrne, John Disney, George Horan, Callum Morris, Michael Wilde, Jamie Insall (Daniel Harrison 63), Declan Poole, Kris Owens, Neil Danns (Craig Curran 77), Aron Williams, Daniel Davies (Johnny Hunt 88)