Lacklustre Nomads Get The Win On The 3G
Nomads run out 3-0 winners, but really the game was a story of two goalkeepers
The young Reds came into the game ready on the back of a terrific 9-0 win in the cup against Hawksbury Bell and they were ready to keep the other teams chasing them at the top.
Nomads faced off against Caerwys earlier in the season and they knew the away side couldn't be taken lightly, they have some good technical players.
The opening exchanges of the game were all Nomads, who were probing for a goal early on. After a few chances and some excellent saves from the away stopper, Nomads got the breakthrough on 8 minutes. An excellent through ball from Conor Harwood saw striker Jack Foster dummy the ball. This put Jack Aitken clean through to expertly poke the ball under the keeper.
Nomads were probing again, with Caerwys on the back foot, again, more saves from the keeper as well as some poor finishing kept the score at 1-0 for a while.
Conor Harwood then doubled the home team's lead, driving at the Caerwys defence he shifted the ball onto his right foot and arrowed the ball into the bottom left from 25 yards.
Goal of the game went to Luke Woolley 10 minutes later. Liam Bruford and Luke Woolley make an excellent duo down the right and it was from this area that Nomads struck again. Bruford releasing Woolley for a 1v1, as Woolley made his way into the box he turned his man inside out, nutmegging him twice before smashing the ball past the keeper.
By half time Caerwys were looking very tired. They attempted to press Nomads and George Coulton, Ben Waddilove and Owen Manley just had them chasing shadows coming out of defence. This trio of players have been playing excellently for a number of months and they work in tandem each game they play together.
Half time was a talk about rotations and good movement, as well as finishing chances. The first half saw 3 goals, however, there were plenty more opportunities to score more.
The second half started and the first 5 minutes were very ominous. Rotations in midfield were sloppy and credit to Caerwys, they stopped attempting to press and just packed midfield.
Nomads were finding it harder and harder to break them down. Two quick changes saw a few chances go Nomads way, but again, their keeper was pulling off save after save.
Caerwys game to life with 30 minutes to go, they had a handful of clear-cut chances and Jay Loyden in the home goal, who up until this point didn't have much to do, saved superbly every time.
A game changer happened with 20 minutes to go, referee Rich Dolphin gave the away side a penalty (rightly so). Jay Loyden superbly saved the penalty, but due to being off his line the pen was ordered to be re-taken. Loyden then saved this penalty, putting the ball over the bar and out of the danger area.
At full-time it was 3-0 against a stout Caerwys team, who played some good football and had chances themselves.
The positives are the clean sheet and the 3 goals, all separate scorers again and Luke Woolley back on the score sheet. However, as a team performance it just wasn't is expected, if not for Loyden in the home goal bailing the young Reds out it could have been a story of points dropped due to toothlessness in the final third (and lack of movement in the middle).
As a manager Woodward shoulders some of the blame, there were many changes within the game that probably disrupted the rhythm of the players. With Ben Finnegan coming on and playing 6, then 8 then 9 and Conor Harwood playing 8 then 11 then 9 then 8 again.
Jack Aitken (Assist Conor Harwood & Jack Foster)
Luke Woolley (Assist Liam Bruford)
Man of The Match - Jay Loyden
Terrific in goal when called on, and made some excellent saves. He made back to back penalty saves at a crucial time of the game and kept his clean sheet, which is more than deserved. It's easy for keepers to lose focus when in the first half they're not tested much, however Loyden stood up when it mattered for Nomads today.