Ward inspires Saints to victory
Arms aloft for offside from Nomads and in celebration for TNS as Wilde nets the winner at the far post
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TNS overcame a spirited display from injury-stricken Nomads and a schoolboy howler from keeper Gerard Doherty to extend their Welsh Premier lead to seven points.
But they again did things the hard way and needed a late goal from Michael Wilde to secure the points.
Despite failing to gell as a unit, TNS dominated Connah's Quay from the start, but had to wait until the 24th minute to open their account.
An excellent one-two between Tommy Holmes and Marc Lloyd-Williams found Nicky Ward on the left and he clipped his shot over keeper Andy Hughes and inside the far post past a despairing George Horan.
The excellent Ward had produced the first chance on seven minutes but he was denied by keeper Andy Hughes, with Wilde nodding his header wide from a Naylor corner.
But first-half domination failed to produce more goals as Nomads dug deep and, without having threatened the Saints' goal, they levelled in the 52nd minute.
Quay striker Tommy Mutton felt he should have been awarded a penalty, but he was all smiles moments later as TNS keeper Gerard Doherty made a schoolboy howler to gift him an equaliser.
He had Mutton’s weakly struck shot well covered but allowed it to slip from his gloves and over the line.
TNS struggled to impose themselves after that as the encounter became increasingly ragged, with Ward seeing his curling free kick tipped over while skipper John Leah had a deflected drive fly past the post. Tommy Holmes then blasted over following a combination move with Lloyd-Williams.
After a succession of set-pieces as the visitors conceded free-kicks and corners, the breakthrough finally arrived from a Naylor free-kick, which was flicked on by Steve Evans’ head for Wilde to net his 18th league goal of the season at the back post.
Nomads claimed the goal was offside, but referee Morgan disagreed and, with events going their way at Rhyl’s Belle Vue, TNS took another step towards their second Welsh Premier championship.
But credit the depleted visitors for a fighting display which will have pleased manager Nev Powell.