There were scenes of despair for Airbus UK and scenes of joy for Connah’s Quay, as the Nomads made home advantage count on Saturday as they qualified for Europe for the first time in history.
Wes Baynes’ driven effort through a crowded six-yard box late in the second-half proved just enough to edge it, when it seemed increasingly likely that the game would go beyond 90-minutes with neither side at their optimum.
It was an understandably tense afternoon at the Deeside Stadium which in truth made for poor viewing for the neutral. It quickly became apparent that the importance of the fixture was weighing heavily on the two sides and neither of which were able to showcase the sort of quality which had resulted in them making the play-off final.
Airbus were one dimensional and uncharacteristically lacked menace in front of goal, whilst Connah’s Quay can consider themselves fortunate that their sluggish start did not prove costly.
Not that boss Andy Morrison will care now that his side have qualified of course – the sense of relief from his emotionally charged and rather cryptic post-match interview with Sgorio was clear to all and he will take great pride in steering this ambitious club into uncharted waters.
With the dust on the current season yet to settle, the rumour-mill is already suggesting that the Nomads will re-strengthen ahead of Europe. Airbus defender Ian Kearney, dynamic Newtown midfielder Matty Owen and experienced striker Michael Wilde, who recently departed TNS, are believed to be on the club’s radar as they look to make the grade in continental competition.
You suspect that Connah’s Quay will be involved in quite a few more big occasions over the next few seasons and their adventure is just beginning…
Front page image courtesy of NCM Media/Connah’s Quay