9 Man Nomads Hold Firm Against Caerwys For All 3 Points
Third win on the bounce for Nomads see's them secure all 3 points against 2nd placed Caerwys
Tonight's match up saw 1st place vs 2nd place and Nomads traveled away to a very strong Caerwys side with 2 wins and 2 clean sheets on the bounce. All credit to Caerwys, the pitch was in excellent condition and their community volunteers and staff were hard at work at the conclusion of the game to repair any damage.
The opening exchanges were that of pure control for Nomads, the pressing in the midfield was excellent and coming out from the back was exemplary - however Caerwys were always going to be dangerous on the break. For 25 minutes Nomads huffed and puffed but never blew anything effective at the home teams goal, this was a mix of excellent Caerwys defending and poor decisions in the final third for Nomads.
The 1st goal would come from Caerwys, against the run of play, but firmly to their strengths on the break. The goal put Nomads heads down slightly and made the Reds slightly more flustered at the back, however that didn't stop Sam Haley equalising from a cute angle after a brilliant piece of work from Joe Sullivan. Caerwys tails were up now though and their pressing was 100x more effective, this pushed a costly mistake at the back which was captialised on by the home team.
2-1 with 15 minutes to half time after a strong start isn't where Nomads wanted to be, however the character of the lads didn't drop and they got their just rewards just before half time through Tom Bridges. Joe Sullivan put a ball through and after the goalkeeper couldn't get his hands on it quick enough before Bridges poked it home.
The second half started in a similar fashion to the first, with Nomads probing without much in return - however the Caerwys goal came much earlier. Again, capitalising on a mistake, Tom Dove was first to react and score his second of the game, in the ruckus of the goal, The reds' goalkeeper Joe Lewis got injured and had to come off with Conor Harwood going in goal as Nomads had used both subs that were brought.
10 men and a goal down could have folded most teams, but not the boys on the pitch for Nomads today. 8 minutes later the equaliser arrived, in the form of a penalty won by Dom Elsey-McHugh and dispatched by Sam Haley. 3-3.
10 minutes later Haley completed his Hat-Trick in a truly excellent goal. Captain Sam Roberts with some absolutely excellent footwork on the half way line saw him turn 2 people before releasing Joe Sullivan down the line, Sullivan drove past his player before putting in a delicious cross. Haley rose highest and a deft, flicked header nestled in the corner.
Shortly after securing the match ball, Haley's hamstrings pulled and he had to be brought off - 9 men vs a very strong Caerwys team for 25 minutes was a mammoth task, but one that was taken. Every lad on the pith worked their socks off to secure the points.
As Caerwys were throwing the kitchen sink at Nomads it left them exposed at the back. Dom Elsey-McHughs pressing was incredible and forced an error at the back. Having already assisted 3, Player of the Match Joe Sullivan raced through on goal, he had Elsey-McHugh with him for a 2v1 on the keeper but chose to go alone - nestling the ball in the corner.
There were 8 minutes added on for stoppages at this point and it was an all out offensive from Caerwys, who would get a 4th after a good flick on at the back put Tom Dove 1v1 with Harwood in goal - the striker completed his own Hat Trick for Caerwys but it just wasn't to be on the day for them.
12 points out of 12 with 20 goals scored in 3 games is an outstanding achievement for the Nomads, with wins over local and academy rivals Airbus and Caerwys whom both fancy strong season and a big win against Bellevue who were an unknown quantity in the league this year.
Player of the Match - Joe Sullivan
Sullivan was excellent from start to finish in an unusually 2 man central midfield today. He played the full 90 minutes in there and never stopped moving, as effective out of possession as he was in possession - Sully was pivotal to the success of the team today. 3 assists and a winning goal capped off a brilliant display. A special mention to Conor Harwood too, he was outstanding in the middle too before an injury put him as an emergency goalkeeper, where he played outstanding there too!
Sam Haley x3 (Ast Joe Sullivan x2 & Dom Elsey McHugh)
Tom Bridges (Ast Joe Sullivan)
Joe Sullivan (Ast Dom Elsey McHugh)