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REPORT | Connah’s Quay Nomads 1-3 Wrexham AFC Women

Red Dragons on brink of title after stoppage-time drama

26 February 2023

Match Reports

REPORT | Connah’s Quay Nomads 1-3 Wrexham AFC Women

Red Dragons on brink of title after stoppage-time drama

26 February 2023

Katie Sharp and Amber Lightfoot scored stoppage-time goals to put Wrexham AFC Women on the brink of the Genero Adran North title with a huge win away to title rivals Connah’s Quay Nomads.

Rosie Hughes’ first-half goal was cancelled out just short of the hour-mark, but Sharp scored at the back post from a corner in stoppage-time before Lightfoot wrapped up victory a minute later.

The result means Wrexham will be crowned champions if they win away to CPD Y Rhyl 1879 next weekend.

Sharp’s header, from TJ Dickens’ corner, was saved in the fourth minute, before Wrexham went from back to front as Del Morgan found Hughes, who teed up Lightfoot in the seventh minute, only for her to shoot off target.

Wrexham’s strong start continued when Hughes spun and ran down the left, but her low cross was just in front of Lightfoot and Pritchard.

At the other end, Kirstie Kural’s 35-yard free-kick sailed over on 14 minutes, and Shannon Hobbs’ turn and shot was off target on 23 minutes.

Hughes made the breakthrough on 26 minutes, however – the striker showing a stunning turn of pace to run in on goal before composing herself on the bobbling surface and firing low across goal.

Kural’s shot was saved and held by Morgan on the half-hour, while Mari Gibbard headed another Dickens’ corner over a minute later.

Tegan Hewitt then cut inside but lofted a shot just over on 42 minutes, as Wrexham went into the interval in front.

Hughes raced down the left a minute after the restart and pulled back for Pritchard, whose first-time left-footed shot was brilliantly turned wide.

But Nomads enjoyed a good spell of possession thereafter – and Sharp had to be alert to make a key block when Kural played a free-kick short to Hobbs on 49 minutes.

The pressure told on 54 minutes, however, when the ball was kept alive after Morgan did well to punch a corner clear, and from the resultant cross the ball was hooked in and just under the bar.

There were chances at both ends, as each team looked to seize the initiative in the title race – Lightfoot seeing a shot blocked on 63 minutes before Hobbs shot wide moments later.

Tempers started fray as the minutes ticked down, with Hamer, Erin Lovett and Phoebe Davies all picking up yellow cards as full-time drew nearer.

Bentley turned and shot low for Nomads on 86 minutes, but Morgan saved at full stretch and clutched onto the loose ball.

It looked as though nothing would separate the teams, but inside five minutes’ stoppage time, Dickens deep corner found Sharp at the back post to bundle the ball in and spark scenes of jubilation for the away team.

And Lightfoot sealed victory moments later, when Mari Gibbard lofted a floating cross to the back post to find her unmarked to fire in.

There was still time for Connah’s Quay to have an even later goal ruled out for offside, but the referee’s whistle restarted Wrexham’s celebrations after a huge win.

Wrexham now sit five points clear of Connah’s Quay, with the Red Dragons playing Rhyl next week before they finish the season at home to Nomads at the end of March.

Line-up: Morgan, Lovett, Sharp, L.Jones, Roberts (Davies 75), Dickens, Gibbard, Pritchard, Mackenzie (Hodson 85), Lightfoot, Hughes

Subs not used: McCaffrey, Dutton, Spearing


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