Mike Hayes celebrates one of his two goals (Nik Mesney)
A Mike Hayes double and a first half strike from Simon Everall saw The Nomads beat Wrexham 3-1 in this pre-season friendly.
Wrexham brought a squad which featured a number of players who last season picked up the FA Trophy at Wembley, however The Nomads' free-flowing football on a great surface was too much for them to handle.
Wrexham started well, and on the five minute mark, Wrexham trialist Mark Carrington setup Nicky Rushton to tap in past his brother in The Nomads' goal from within the six yard box, and Wrexham looked to push on with Jon Rushton making a fine save low to his left on 15 minutes, and two minutes later Wrexham hit the post and forced an outstanding reaction save out of Jon Rushton, little did Jon know that the offside flag had gone up as the ball hit the post from the inital shot!
The Nomads, in their new red home kit, started to get in to the game watched by over 470 supporters at Deeside Stadium, and on the 25th minute, Mike Hayes chased on to a through ball, out pacing the Wrexham back line and beating Wrexham goalkeeper Andy Coughlin to the ball, only to see
Action from the match at the Deeside Stadium (Nik Mesney)
his looped effort headed off the line by Leon Clowes when a number inside the ground thought it had gone in.
The home team continued their purple patch in the game and after another ten minutes of camped possession in the Wrexham half, Mike Hayes was put through down the right of the 18 yard box and unleashed a thunderous strike which slammed off the near post. The Nomads were not to be denied however, and five minutes before half time, Simon Everall cut in from the left and hit a sweet left footed strike into the roof of the net beyond a helpless Andy Coughlin.
In a change from tradition in pre-season friendlies, both teams emerged from the half time break without making a single change between them, and Wrexham were looking to bounce back quickly as only three minutes into the second half, trialist Carrington struck a powerful volley from within the penalty area, only to be unbelievably denied by Nomads defender Mike Sharples, who somehow managed to trap the ball between his thighs as he blocked the strike before clearing to safety.
Mike Hayes chips in his goal (Nik Mesney)
The 51st minute saw The Nomads take the lead for the first time in the game as Mike Hayes raced through on a Ricky Evans through ball, evading both the defence and 'keeper with a delicate dink beyond Coughlin to give The Nomads a deserved lead. At this point in the game, The Nomads were playing some lovely free flowing football with new signings Paul Mooney and Mike Sharples impressing, whilst the combination play between Everall and Hayes was proving tough to live with for the Wrexham defence.
Mooney continued to impress down the left side for The Nomads and on the 64th minute, he intercepted a loose Wrexham pass, and without looking up, went for an audacious lob attempt which saw the ball float just over the bar as Wrexham goalkeeper Coughlin looked on hoping it would drop the wrong side of the bar - luckily for him it did.
Trialist Jason Lampkin had created a number of chances for The Nomads with a first half shot going just over the bar, and a number of crosses flashed across the face of the Wrexham goal only just cleared, but in the 73rd minute, Lampkin clipped in a sweet near post cross which saw Mike Hayes' flick header end up in the far corner to give The Nomads a two goal lead against the FA Trophy winners.
Craig Jones takes a free-kick (Nik Mesney)
Shortly after, The Nomads made a host of substitutions, which saw a number of Academy graduates get some playing time against the full timers, as well as Terry McCormick's return to Deeside.
Wrexham turned up the heat in the last 10 minutes introducing Adrian Cieslewicz and Robert Ogleby and it wasn't long before Terry was called into action making two great saves in the space of five minutes to deny The Dragons.
Overall, a fantastic result for The Nomads in front of a brilliant crowd. The new kit looked great and looked as though the lads had been wearing it all their life - the new signings appear to have settled in very well following the recent trip to Yorkshire and we look forward to our next home game, welcoming Rhys Healey back to Deeside next Tuesday as Cardiff City make the trip north.
Mark McGregor commented following the game to say;
"The lads thoroughly enjoyed the game, it was free flowing stuff and a great test against a full time team - our fitness levels are really good at the moment and we look strong in all areas.
The lads thoroughly enjoyed the game, it was free flowing stuff and a great test against a full time team - our fitness levels are really good at the moment and we look strong in all areas
"While it is pre season and I will not get carried away with a defeat or a win, the lads set themselves a standard with this win. It was nice to see Si [Everall] and [Mike] Hayes on scoresheet again, with good performances all over the park.
"Thanks to Andy for bringing a team up and we wish them good luck this year in the conference.
"It was a decent crowd but I am hopeful of more next week when the new Premiership team Cardiff City come to Deeside Stadium, so please come down to watch an entertaining game against a premiership team."