GAP Connah’s Quay showed amazing powers of recovery to set up a tantalising Welsh Cup fourth-round clash with top-flight rivals Bangor City.
Nomads will welcome the Citizens to Deeside Stadium over the weekend of January 26/27 after fighting back from two goals down to win 4-2 at home to Llanelli on Saturday.
Bangor will be firm favourites for the big last-16 tie.
They have won eight and drawn one of the last nine Corbett Sports Welsh Premier League meetings between the sides and also triumphed when the North Wales duo clashed in the 2010-11 Welsh Cup semi-finals.
Nomads player-manager Mark McGregor, whose side return to league action at home to title-challenging Prestatyn Town tomorrow (7.30pm), said: “We will be the underdogs.
“But we like being underdogs and if we can produce our very best, it is a game we can win.”
McGregor could not hide his delight after the superb victory over Llanelli.
Nomads went into Saturday’s third-round tie on the back of a disappointing league loss to Afan Lido.
Llanelli, meanwhile, were out to avenge the two league defeats they had suffered to McGregor’s men earlier in the campaign.
The latter of those losses, a 6-1 Stebonheath Park humiliation, led to new Reds manager Bob Jeffrey calling it ‘one of the worst results the club has had in a long time’, adding that he was ‘aiming to put that right’.
His players certainly took his words on board as they raced into a commanding early lead courtesy of Craig Moses and Lloyd Grist.
But a 36th-minute strike from birthday boy Rhys Healey, set up by fellow 18-year-old Ryan Edwards, laid the foundations for an amazing second-half spell of three goals in four minutes.
Dean Canning, playing out of position after left wing-back Alan Hooley broke his foot in training, crossed for Jamie Petrie to bring the under-strength hosts level in the 74th minute and two minutes later the outstanding Jamie Wynne put them in front with the first senior goal of his career.
Two minutes after that the top scorer Healey, who turned 18 last Thursday, put the final outcome beyond doubt as he finished off more good play by Canning to take his tally for the term up to 13.
McGregor said: “We had a disappointing result in the league last week so the last thing we wanted was to go 2-0 down.
“But the lads dug deep and showed so much resolve and character.
“To get the win is a massive boost for confidence.”
Seventh-placed Nomads will welcome back captain Craig Jones for tomorrow’s visit of third-placed Prestatyn.
The influential midfielder missed the win over Llanelli after becoming a father.
McGregor was down to the bare bones on Saturday but the likes of man-of-the-match Wynne, 18, showed maturity beyond his years.
Former Wrexham and Blackpool defender McGregor said: “I have to give Jamie Wynne special praise. He played next to me and I told him to win every header – and that’s exactly what he did.
“He loves football and loves playing for Connah’s Quay and it was a special moment for him to score in the Welsh Cup. I’m sure he made his family and friends proud.
“Jamie and Chris Rowntree, who really gave us a spark, were our star players.”