With both sides facing their third game in the space of seven days, the Flint players looked somewhat physically and mentally jaded, having come through two demanding games against Barry and Caernarfon in the league. To their credit, though, the Nomads looked very fresh and proceeded to produce an excellent display of passing football, that often left the Flint players chasing shadows, on an immaculate playing surface, in front of a hugely impressive crowd of just over 1,100.
Flint employed three centre backs to try and counter the threat of their opponents, but with their full backs not being able to make any inroads down the flanks as they were being pinned back, the back five left their midfield somewhat exposed and Nomads exploited the extra space to good effect.
The first half was played almost entirely in the hosts’ half, and it always seemed to be a question of when, and not if the visitors would score. On 14 minutes, a Kris Owens free kick was swung in low from the right, and struck the foot of the Flint post. Owens then tried his luck with a curling shot from 20 yards, a few minutes later, and once again hit the woodwork.
Then Aeron Edwards darted in to get on the end of a ball from close range, but somehow his effort flew just wide, as the Flint goal was put under siege. In the midst of all this, keeper Jon Rushton was doing his level best to keep the scoreline level, and on 25 minutes he did very well to keep out a Declan Poole strike, after the winger had cut in from the right and unleashed a powerful effort.
However, the dam was finally breached just before the half hour mark, when Jamie Insall stooped to meet an Owens delivery from the left, and planted his header just inside the post.
Rushton then pulled off a remarkable treble save on 33 minutes as the visitors continued to press. John Disney initially let fly with a 25 yarder that the Flint keeper managed to parry. He then quickly recovered to thwart Jamie Mullan’s follow up effort, and then finally denied Callum Morris who had seized on the loose ball.
After withstanding so much pressure, Flint created a good opportunity to equalise on 40 minutes. A Ben Maher ball into the box found the head of Ben Nash, and Oliver Byrne sprang to his left to pull off a fine one handed save to stop what looked like a certain goal.
Any half time team talk plans to get back into the game were quickly undone from a flint point of view, when they conceded again just two minutes into the second half. A Poole cross was not dealt with by the Silkmen defence and Mullan was on hand to poke the ball home, to give his side a two goal cushion.
Flint were still reeling from this latest setback, when Insall broke through on goal barely a minute later, and it took a well timed tackle by Sam Hart to deny him the opportunity to increase the lead further. On 55 minutes, Owens delivered a good cross to the back post to find Poole, whose header struck the bar and bounced down on the line, before being cleared away.
Flint did their best to muster up a response against a dominant Nomads side, but it was hard going to fashion any clear cut chances. They did put a good passage of play together on 72 minutes, which resulted in the ball being pulled back to the incoming Hart, but Byrne pulled off a good save to deny the Flint full back.
Just after that, the Silkmen were reduced to 10 men when Nash was shown his second yellow card in the space of a few minutes. There was a coming together with Insall, which the referee rather harshly deemed to be worthy of a booking, and resulted in the Flint man having to walk.
That effectively extinguished any remote hopes of a comeback, and the Silkmen fought a valiant rearguard action to the end to keep the scoreline respectable.
On the night, Nomads proved themselves worthy winners and we wish them every success in the next round of the competition.