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The Konica League of Wales - 1993-94

THE KONICA LEAGUE OF WALES - 1993-94

Following a successful first season in the League of Wales, The Nomads enjoyed some high profile friendly games during the summer of 1993. Our most notable visitors were Manchester United, for whom Lee Martin, Danny Wallace and Keith Gillespie featured, and Manchester City - our players gave a good account of themselves particularly against the Red Devils. Our new player-managers Neville Powell and Phil Evans were pleased with the way the pre-season had gone and looked forward to their first venture into senior management.

The Nomads' first league game of the new campaign pitched us against champions Cwmbran Town and a 0-1 defeat away from home - whilst disappointing, it was a vast improvement on the 6-1 hammering suffered there twelve months earlier. Mind you, after three games of the 1993/94 season, we lay just a single point behind Cwmbran thanks to successive victories over Llanelli (5-1) and away to Mold Alexandra (4-2). A pleasing feature of those two matches was that the goal scoring was shared between seven players.

A quarter of the new season had already passed when Maesteg Park Athletic visited the Halfway Ground on 23rd October 1993. By then, those heady days of success during August were long forgotten after a run of six league games had produced only five points most of which were gained in a scrappy 1-0 away win at Afan Lido courtesy of Tommy Lloyd's strike, a third goal in successive matches for the former Bangor City, Rhyl and Colwyn Bay forward following a debut against Haverfordwest.

In the midst of this poor run of results came a victory over Llansantffraid (today's New Saints, of course) in the League Cup. It was more the manner of the win that pleased the club's followers. We had lost the home leg 1-0 and by the time most of us found their ground, hidden at the back of the town, we were a goal down in the second leg too. With The Nomads pressing hard a long clearance over our defence resulted in another goal for the home side and left us trailing 3-0 on aggregate at half-time.

Ever the optimists, a small band of The Nomads' followers braved the rain to stand behind the Saints' goal as the second half began but our vocal support seemed to matter little until the 70th minute when Tommy Lloyd glanced a header past the home 'keeper to keep our spirits up. Ten minutes from time, Scott Taylor curled a left-footed effort into the net and Nomads were back in the tie. Having squandered a penalty kick, saved by Phil Collister's outstretched boot, the home side were beginning to look frayed and our comeback was complete when Shae Jones' 25-yard effort in the 90th minute found the corner of the net to make it 3-3! When Holyhead referee Brian Lawlor blew his whistle, everyone waited for extra-time but at least the referee was aware of the competition rules and the game was won by Connah's Quay on away goals over 90 minutes. More than 22 years after that night those fans who attended can vividly recall The Nomads' second half performance and the character displayed by the whole team.

The euphoria following the Llansantffraid tie soon died, however, when we suffered a 2-1 first leg defeat at Porthmadog in the next round and, despite the promise of that away goal bringing dividends in the home encounter, we lost that game too - by 4-0! So it was back to league matters when Cwmbran Town visited on 13th November. A day of heavy rain failed to dampen The Nomads' spirits after beating the champions 2-0 in a game that we could have won by more had it not been for the heroics of the Crows' goalkeeper Pat O'Hagan.

Flint Town United won the Boxing Day Derby at their new Cae-y-Castell home before a crowd of more than 500. It was a clear and frosty morning when the game began, but goals from Chris Davies, after Edwards had brilliantly saved efforts from The Nomads' strike force of Dave O'Gorman and Tommy Lloyd, and a second from Darren Horne that went in off the post had put Flint 2-0 up. A late strike from Scott Taylor was not enough and Flint leapfrogged over us in the league table.

By this time, our Welsh Cup hopes had floundered in the Halfway mud as Ebbw Vale gained a 2-1 win in a replay on the Tuesday of Christmas week. They had only earned the replay courtesy of a last minute equaliser in the first match, but two early goals in the replay sealed victory despite O'Gorman netting and The Nomads exerting tremendous pressure. Gallons of water had been swept and pumped off the pitch during the day but it was Ebbw Vale who entertained Cardiff City in the next round.

1994 dawned with our club retaining no further interest in two senior cup competitions meaning that our next sixteen first team fixtures were all played in the League of Wales. Having finished 8th at the end of the 1992/93 campaign we were keen to improve on that. A Tuesday night in early January saw us both entertain Mold Alexandra and be filmed for S4C's Tocyn Tymor sports programme. A healthy crowd of 355 attended to see a 1-1 draw and witness club stalwart Geraint (Gareth) Roberts interviewed in Welsh, of course! Before the game a minute's silence was observed to the memory of Elfed Ellis, the popular President of the Football Association of Wales.

Our last 22 League of Wales fixtures produced ten wins and seven draws so that we managed to claim seventh place at the end of the season two points ahead of Cwmbran Town but two dozen behind champions Bangor City. This was the centenary year of the North Wales Football Association and with wins over Cemaes Bay, St Asaph City and Holywell Town, The Nomads had quietly reached the final of the Association's Challenge Cup for the first time where we met Conwy United (at Flint).

The Nomads took the lead with a 25 yard volley by Dave O'Gorman. Conwy equalised on the hour through Vernon Keep, later to become a Nomads player, and Conwy looked the more likely winners as the game wore on. Yet, with just three minutes remaining left-back Mickey Carroll set off on a 40-yard solo run past three defenders before firing into the far corner to bring the cup to Deeside. It was a gallant way to end a long season.

Click here to see the final league table

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