Stabæk Fotball 0
Connah’s Quay Nomads 1 (Morris 15)
UEFA Europa League – first qualifying round, second leg
Thursday 7th July 2016
Fredrikstad Stadion, Norway. Attendance: 384
What a night it was in Norway five years ago today when Connah’s Quay Nomads won their first-ever European tie.
Having been held 0-0 by Stabæk Fotball at Belle Vue, Rhyl, seven days earlier, Nomads were second favourites going into the return at Fredrikstad Stadion.
The 12,000 capacity venue staged the match due to Stabaek’s Nadderud Stadium being unable to hold European games.
Nomads started an unchanged side from the first leg, with Michael Wilde leading the line once again.
The bench was similar to the home leg also, the only change being Sean Smith in for Paul Linwood.
Eliteserien club Stabaek, full-time professionals, applied some early pressure but gained no reward.
Against the run of play, Nomads’ first European goal followed in the 15th minute. Keeper John Danby sent a long ball upfield, which was flicked on to land in front of Callum Morris, who coolly slotted in from eight yards.
Despite Stabaek’s attacking retort they could not break the Nomads, Danby dealing with a powerful effort from Moussa Njie.
The half ended and Nomads went in with a deserved lead, but knew many more heroics were needed after the break to cause a sensation.
A major incident occurred in the 50th minute, when after a Wilde challenge, tempers flared between the teams which saw Stabaek’s Kamal Issah sent off for his part in the fracas.
Despite being down to 10 men, Stabaek still threatened with Ohi Omoijuanfo shooting wide in one of the Norwegian’s best chances of the game.
A bizarre occurrence followed in the 78th minute when Quay’s substituted John Disney was shown a second yellow on the sidelines for breaching Europa League regulations during his cool down.
This meant despite having a player sent off, Nomads still had 11 players on the pitch.
Andy Morrison made his remaining substitutions with Sean Smith and former Bangor City legend Les Davies replacing Nathan Woolfe and Wilde.
Stabaek persisted, but they could not get past that rock-solid Nomads defence and the final whistle blew on a magnificent Welsh Premier victory.
John Disney (Matty Owen)
Nathan Woolfe (Sean Smith)
Michael Wilde (Les Davies)