THE Flintshire Cup brought the county’s top two teams together at the Hollingsworth Group stadium as the Wingmakers and Gap Connah’s Quay did battle before the new Welsh Premier League season. 

Being a ‘derby’ game both clubs were hoping it would be more competitive than a normal pre-season friendly ahead of the new campaign.

Josh Lane had the first chance for Nomads within the first couple of minutes, a shot lofted narrowly over the bar. There were a few firm challenges going in but little else in the way of goalmouth action in the opening stages. A defensive mix-up in the Nomads defence on quarter of an hour nearly put the Wingmakers in front.

The Nomads were forced into an early change with an injury to Mike Sharples leading to Jamie Wynne being brought on in his place. On 31 minutes a Mike Roddy free-kick was headed towards goal by Glenn Rule but Nomads goalkeeper Terry McCormick was equal to it. Overall the Wingmakers were shading the game in terms of possession.

A shot dragged just wide of the near post from Lewis Short was as close as either side had come to breaking the deadlock on 38 minutes, followed by a Mike Pearson header which also went close. At the other end Lane drew a smart low save from Niki-Lee Bulmer. Just before the break Steve Jones ran half the length of the field before firing just wide as the Wingmakers began to create chances.

At the interval it was still 0-0, a scoreline which was a fair reflection of the game so far. Soon after the resumption Steve Jones missed the target with a speculative effort. On 51 minutes Chris Budrys was hauled down in the area and a penalty was awarded to the Wingmakers. However Chris Simm stepped up to take it but his strong shot was expertly saved by McCormick.

Despite the penalty miss the Wingmakers soon went in front on 54 minutes.  A powerful accurate drive from outside the area by Glenn Rule clipped the far post on its way into the back of the net. The Wingmakers had deservedly converted their control of the game into a 1-0 lead. On 62 minutes Simm was in on goal but McCormick was down to make the block.

With 20 minutes to go John Lane struck the post and then forced a good save from Bulmer as the Nomads searched for a way back into the game. At the other end Simm set up Steve Jones whose chipped effort went narrowly over. Moments later Mike Roddy went close with a similar effort on the other side of the area.

Teenage academy graduate Myles Hart replaced Chris Budrys with 10 minutes to go shortly followed by another in Aaron Hassell for Steve Jones. The game became quite stretched with Nomads pushing for an equaliser but time was against them. The Wingmakers had done enough to be crowned winners of the inaugural Flintshire Cup.

By Rory Sheehan

Below: Chris Budrys goes close with a first-half header.

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