U18's Hit Hawkesbury for 6 On The Elfed
6 goals and a clean sheet puts GAP 5 points clear at the top.
The young Nomads made the short trip from Connah's Quay to Buckley in the reverse fixture against Hawkesbury Bell, playing on a very soft pitch.
Woodward and Manley knew that the pitch would cut up and become almost unplayable within 30 minutes of the game starting so onus would be on the wide players to provide much of the magic today, as the centre of the pitch would be very difficult.
The start of the match was comfortable for Nomads, however, the surface could make a fool of even the best player and the Nomads centre backs of Ben Finnegan and Ben Waddilove knew that if they got caught with the ball over them it would be difficult to turn and recover. Nomads probed and the opposition keeper made some wonderful saves from Jack Foster and Luke Woolley in the opened stages.
On the break, Hawkesbury had their dangerous moments, but Finnegan and Waddilove were more than up for the test, sweeping up and playing out.
On 15' minutes Nomads had their breakthrough, wonderful work down the left between Craig Chisholm and Leon Doran saw a delicious cross to the back post, Jack Foster was on hand to side-foot volley the ball into the corner.
That wing play was to be the theme of the day, this time mirrored on the right through Luke Woolley and Liam Bruford. Some brilliant one-touch passes between the two put Woolley away and in space on the right, his lofted cross was nodded down by Foster; Craig Chisholm then smashed the ball past the keeper on the half volley from 10 yards.
10 minutes before the half it was to be the central midfielders who go involved in the goals this time. Great work on the right again saw Andrew Ely in space when the ball was pulled into the centre, his shot was slammed into the opposition centre-backs as they threw themselves in front of the ball. The loose ball fell to Owen Manley who drove the ball accurately through the crowd of players and into the corner.
Half-time was just a chance for Woodward and Manley to reiterate the importance working the ball out wide, quickly, on an ever deteriorating pitch.
5 minutes into the half saw the introduction of Ben James and Zach Williams who got into the action straight away. James was opening the play by finding passes into space and Williams marauding down the left.
Just past the hour mark, flying full-back Liam Bruford capped off a wonderful performance with a goal of his own. Excellent hold-up play and through ball by Leon Doran, now functioning in the 9 position, released Bruford who slotted the ball home coolly.
With 10 minutes to go Nomads hit twice again. On the 80' minute a corner was not dealt with by the away side, Ben Waddilove stabbed the ball towards goal and Jack Aitken reacted first to slam the ball past the keeper.
On the 86th minute, Owen Manley and Zach Williams teamed up excellently down the left. Williams put the ball on a plate for the in-form Luke Woolley to no the ball home.
The Reds made this their 3rd win on the bounce to cap off an unbeaten January. They sit at the top of the pile, 5 points clear. The teams below hold a number of games in hand and could peg the points back, however with teams in the top 10 all capable of beating each other, games in hand don't always mean points in the bag.
The most impressive thing today for the travelling team is that there was a clean sheet and 6 different scorers, showing that the young Reds have threats all over the pitch.
Jack Foster (Assist Leon Doran)
Craig Chisholm (Assist Jack Foster)
Owen Manley (Assist Andrew Ely)
Liam Bruford (Assist Leon Doran)
Jack Aitken (Assist Ben Waddilove)
Luke Woolley (Assist Zach Williams)
Man of the Match - Liam Bruford
Fantastic performance again. He's been Mr consistent since Karters fine form took him to the 19's and today he was up and down the right tirelessly, him and Luke Woolley worked in tandem in with each other brilliantly causing all sorts of problems for Hawkesbury today.