Déjà vu for the Lakesiders as Nomads hit four to reach Nathaniel MG Cup Final
Bala suffered another devastating defeat in adverse weather conditions at the hands of Connah’s Quay at Maes Tegid, as the holders of the Nathaniel MG Cup progressed to the final.
The Lakesiders put on an impressive first-half performance which saw us enter the break level after Anthony Stephens’ opener was cancelled out by Paulo Mendes. Before a second-half collapse saw us exit the cup with the holders ruthlessly progressing to the final.
Bright start by Bala
Despite the disastrous defeat we suffered to the visitors fresh on the minds of the players from three weeks ago, we started the game on the front foot. Antony Kay almost gave us the lead five minutes in as he tried his luck from distance, with his dipping effort going just over the bar!
It was then Oliver Byrne who nearly gave us the lead as he made a mistake at the back when his attempted clearance struck the back of Dave Edwards. However, the goalkeeper was able to recover despite the panic to clear the danger.
The Lakesiders started to control possession the further game went on as confidence grew with every passage of play, but a breakthrough could not be found as the final ball was lacking. The Nomads almost opened the scoring with their first real opportunity as Declan Poole cut in from the left flank and unleashed a venomous strike that Kay was able to clear before reaching the awaiting Alex Ramsay in net.
Stephens bundles in the opener
Moments later, Chris Venables was played through on goalbut failed to make the most of his glorious opportunity as Byrne saved well to see the ball out for a corner. From the corner, Bala got the breakthrough, with Brad Bauress cross reaching Stephens at the backpost who managed to bundle the ball home despite the Nomads best efforts to stop him.
Mendes draws the Nomads level
With half-time approaching, the Nomads pushed for an equaliser to calm the storm. A long ball forward provided the equaliser with Craig Curran able to head the ball forward to Mendes who simply poked the ball past the rushing Ramsay to equalise and see the sides into half-time with the score level.
Curran puts the holder ahead
The Nomads seemed to find their stride in the second-half as they used the momentum from Mendes’ leveller to bring the game to Bala. Kieran Smith made an incredible defensive header to prevent Mendes from having a free shot at grabbing his brace.
However, the visitors’ pressure eventually paid dividends as Curran put his side in front. Aeron Edwards heading a cross downwards for Curran, who had all the time in the world to find the back of the net and give the Nomads the advantage.
The advantage was then doubled only two minutes later as Mendes grabbed his brace. From Kris Owens’ pinpoint cross, the goalscorer towered home his second of the night to give the holders comfort.
From bad to worse, Mullan makes it four
The Nomads weren’t finished there however as in the 72ndminute they made it four. Mendes selflessly squaring the ball to Mullan, despite being on his hat-trick, for the midfielder to blast a thunderbolt in off the crossbar to all but confirm the visitors place in the final with less than twenty minutes left.
The Lakesiders bow out the cup
The final few minutes saw the Nomads push for a fifth, but a late Ramsay save saw him prevent further punishment. However, the Nomads’ inspiring second-half performance saw them clinch their place in the final and they will now take on Cardiff Met in their bid to retain the cup.
Colin Caton will be disappointed to exit in the semi-finals of the league cup having seen his players put on a promising first-half performance before a second-half collapse spelt disaster for his side. He will now look to turn his players focus towards facing the league leaders at Maes Tegid next Friday night.
We would like to wish Connah’s Quay all the best in the Nathaniel MG Cup final.
TNS will visit Maes Tegid in our next fixture which is set for next Friday night with kick-off at 7:45pm.
Match Stats: Bala Town - Alex Ramsay, Calum Woods, Anthony Stephens, Sean Smith, Antony Kay, Bradley Bauress, Ollie Shannon, Kieran Smith, Paul Rutherford, Dave Edwards, Chris Venables
Connah’s Quay – Oliver Byrne, Ryan Harrington, George Horan, Paulo Mendes, Jamie Mullan, Callum Morris, Declan Poole, Danny Holmes, Kris Owens, Craig Curran, Aeron Edwards
Bala Town – Lassana Mendes > Brad Bauress (79), Johny Spittle > Anthony Stephens (79)
Connah’s Quay Nomads – Jamie Insall > Craig Curran (77), Aron Williams > Jamie Mullan (78), James Owen > Aeron Edwards (81)