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Changing Alliance - Welsh to Cymru

CHANGING ALLIANCE - WELSH TO CYMRU

Following the departure of the first team manager Steve Gelder towards the end of the previous season, The Nomads' Committee appointed Dave Allen as the manager for the 1989/90 campaign along with Mal Latter as his assistant. Both had previous, though relatively brief, experience as players with The Nomads and had enjoyed success with their former clubs, Allen as manager at Holywell Town and Latter with Hawarden Rangers.

With plans afoot to create a new competition to feature both north and mid Wales clubs, there was much anticipation at the start of the 1989/90 season and The Nomads began with their usual curtain-raiser against Chester City whose squad included youngsters Darren Wynne and Mike Carroll, both of whom were to have a big impact at the Halfway Ground in the seasons that followed.

The new season began on 19th August with a trip to Llanfairpwll where a 2-0 win for The Nomads was regarded as a good start, as the Anglesey club had finished just one place and a single point behind us in May 1989. All Deeside football fans were looking forward to the following Tuesday evening when The Nomads were to entertain Welsh Alliance champions Flint Town United. Of course, every club is out to beat the champions and Llanrwst Town had done just that on the opening day with a 3-1 victory at Flint.

On the night it was Flint who took the honours winning 3-1 but The Nomads gained ample revenge at Holywell Road a week later courtesy of the game's only goal. So, by the end of August 1989, The Nomads sat in mid table with three wins and three losses while champions Flint were placed precariously just three points off the bottom of the league table.

With The Nomads entering five cup competitions, the fixture list soon became congested, especially as the first round of the Welsh Cup was staged as early as the first Saturday in September, when clubs had played only half a dozen league matches. Mind you, a 7-1 win away to Shotton Westminster had Nomads' fans buzzing and was rewarded with a home tie against Llay RBL. With Bangor City Reserves setting a tremendous pace at the top of the league with 31 points from 11 games, The Nomads were already 13 points in arrears so cup success was important.

In his programme notes for the Llay RBL clash, 'Nomad' hoped for a win on the day and a draw against a Football League club in the next round - and he got his wish. The 2-1 victory earned Nomads a tie away to Hereford United and that was the match that provided me with my first taste of Nomads 'excitement'. I couldn't go to the game on the supporters' coach but listened to the brief reports on Radio Wales as Hereford totted up a couple of goals at a time! The Nomads lost 9-0 and our fans missed half of the game as their coach was late!

The Hereford game actually did a lot for the team, who had played manfully on the night and the following weekend set off on a run of 15 league and cup games without defeat. In fact, The Nomads didn't lose a league match between September 16th and April 5th 1990, twice notching 6-0 successes during that period, against Locomotive Llanberis and Holywell Town, to avenge earlier 2-3 defeats away to those same clubs. The Nomads reached the later rounds of the local cup competitions before petering out in the final stages.

With The Nomads climbing up the league table it was no surprise that the club was invited to compete in the new-look Cymru Alliance which was to start in August 1990. A late season surge saw The Nomads finish third in the league table having won 23 of their 34 league games scoring 89 times in the process. Porthmadog were champions and Bangor City Reserves finished runners-up despite losing only once all season. Meanwhile, The Nomads' General Manager Les Jones was voted the Warwick International Welsh Alliance 'Secretary of the Year' and suitably rewarded at the League's AGM.

Launch of the Cymru Alliance - August 1990
With six pre-season 'friendlies' under their belt, The Nomads' began life as a founder member of the Cymru Alliance, sponsored by Manweb, on Saturday 25th August 1990. Our first fixture was away to Caersws, champions of the Mid Wales League having won 25 of their 28 games on the way to winning the title with 19 points to spare over runners-up Welshpool. Thus, we expected a hard game and so it turned out with the Bluebirds winning 3-1. Mind you, 'Nomad's' comments in the following match programme are as entertaining as they are biased!

He wrote, 2There is a saying in football when you visit certain areas that 'You'll have to knock 'em out to get a draw'. Well, even if we had knocked them out we would still have come away empty-handed if the match officials had anything to do with it. We had two certain penalty claims turned down and their first and third goals were so far offside their front player needed a taxi get back onside!"

Maybe not the best piece of journalism ever to grace the club programme but certainly typed with real feeling. If the match report is to be believed, then The Nomads could certainly rue their misfortune. Caersws led at the break through the first hotly-disputed goal and within 20 seconds of the re-start doubled their lead. Barry Thomas was cautioned for "an innocuous foul2 and later sent off while Dave 'Pixie' Taylor pulled a goal back for The Nomads from an Everton Williams cross. In the dying moments the home side netted a third goal as ten-man Nomads pushed for an equaliser. At least 'Nomad' had the grace to thank the Caersws officials for their excellent hospitality but I doubt that extended to the referee and linesmen!

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