Connah's Quay Nomads 2-2 Barry Town United
Scorers: Michael Bakare 18', Rob Hughes 76'; Momodou Touray 37' 39'
A fixture that promised so much beforehand delivered even more than anyone thought it could as Connah's Quay and Barry played out a classic on Deeside.
In a frenetic and pulsating clash, both sides would argue that they could and should have won it, with the final minute seeing chances at both ends cleared off the line.
If that was how the game ended, it certainly wasn't how it started, as both sides created nothing of note in the opening ten minutes. Instead, it felt like the opening moments of a chess match, both making tentative forays into opposition territory, feeling each other out.
Slowly though, the home side came to take control of things, and proceeded to dominate the next twenty five minutes. Michael Bakare had the game's first chance, heading over from Ryan Wignall's corner.
He had another minutes later, after good work by Wignall and Declan Poole saw him find space on the left to break into the Barry box. The midfielder took one touch too many though, and his shot was saved by Mike Lewis.
He made no mistake with his third chance, rifling a low shot from the edge of the box into the bottom corner past Lewis.
Lewis was called into action again midway through the half to deny Jay Owen, the midfielder heading a corner into his direction. Nomads continued to press, and Bakare had yet another chance to score, breaking into the area and this time beating Lewis from about ten yards but smashing the crossbar.
Eleven seconds later, the ball was in the net at the other end. The rebounding ball was cleared long, sparking a foot race between John Disney and Kayne McLaggon. Disney's header back to John Danby was underhit, forcing the keeper to rush out to clear. He did, but only as far as Momodou Touray, and the in form striker took a touch and rolled the ball home from thirty yards to level.
The visitors had only had one chance up to that point, but two minutes later, they were remarkably ahead. Touray bagged his sixth goal of the season, drifting unmarked to the back post to meet Macauley Southam-Hales' cross.
That understanably rattled the home side who, up to the point Touray scored his first, had looked to be in cruise control.
Morrison changed it up at the break, bringing Michael Parker on for Owen, and his side started the second half well, forcing a scramble in the Barry six yard box. Minutes later Michael Wilde nearly poked home a Wignall cross, but then from a Nomads corner the visitors broke and should have had a third.
Touray was played free into the Nomads half, and bore down on goal looking for all the world like he was going to score. The striker had an opportunity to shoot as he got into the box, but he cut inside in an attempt to get round Danny Holmes, who may have got away with a shirt pull in the process, and that allowed Disney to make a covering tackle.
Nomads kept pushing. A great breakout from Callum Morris won his side a free kick on the edge of the Barry area, but Bakare could only blaze it over. Southam-Hales then did likewise from a chance down the other end, before another ball into the Barry box resulted in Morris having a shot blocked.
Rob Hughes was brought on for Wignall with twenty minutes to go as Nomads kept pushing, but it was a Barry sub who almost made an instant impact first. Louis Gerrard, on for Touray, broke free down the left and delivered a teasing ball across the box for McLaggon. The striker was stretching for it, and couldn't quite get his foot over the ball enough to keep it from going over.
Hughes though did make the impact. A long Danby free kick into the Barry box was cleared as far as Hughes on the edge of the box, and he rifled it first time back low through the mass of bodies and into the corner past Lewis.
That wasn't the end of the drama. McLaggon should have had his side back in front a minute later, somehow failing to connect with a cross at the back post with the goal open at his mercy.
The game moved into the final ten minutes, which were in complete opposite to the first, both sides pushing for that checkmate move. Disney cleared a Barry chance off the line, while at the other end Lewis pulled off a great diving save to deny Jack Kenny with two minutes to go.
The resulting corner was floated in and cleared off the line, cleared upfield, and then Barry had a chance headed off the line by Disney again.
Injury time came, and the visitors were happy to play down the clock, but not before testing Danby one last time.
With that, the game drew to a close, the majority of those there to witness it exhausted and delighted in equal measure. Both sides stay where they started the day, but move three points clear of The New Saints and Bala.
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