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Football: Gap Connah’s Quay Academy side prepare for semi-final of FAW Academy Cup against Rhyl

GAP Connah’s Quay Academy under-12s aim to write another chapter in Nomads’ great success story this season as they head to Belle Vue on Sunday to take on Rhyl in the semi final of the FAW Academy Cup.

Formed just 12 months ago, Nomads U12s have quickly inherited the winning mentality the club’s older academy sides have fostered as they have established themselves among the top four academies in Wales at their age group.

And if they beat Rhyl on the road, they will set up a cup final clash in Newtown against Haverfordwest or Neath on April 29.

Along the way they became the only team to beat Northern League champions Bangor City in the regional play-offs of the cup having finished in fourth place in the league.

Bangor seemed invincible during the season but within 10 minutes of kick-off Nomads had built a 3-0 lead in the cup tie.

Cameron Jones, Tom Blackwell and Steffan Owen found the net and the Citizens were on the ropes.

It took Bangor until the final five minutes to get on the scoresheet but when they did they hit two quickfire goals that made the dying seconds pretty nervy for Nomads.

But the players and coach Kevin Manley were able to celebrate a 3-2 victory at the final whistle and a memorable achievement for their first season.

“This is our first season playing in the FAW Academy Cup,” said Manley.

“We have played well all year in a league with some strong teams in it, not least Bangor, so to win and go through to a national semi final is a great achievement for the boys and to play at Belle Vue, which is a great ground, will be a good experience.”

It was not so good news for Nomads’ other FAW Academy Cup sides.

The U16s were unlucky to fall 2-1 to a late goal at Llandudno.

Having trailed early on Aaron Davies fired home to level for Nomads before the break.

With only 12 players available due to injuries Nomads nevertheless pushed on and took control.

But their failure to convert their chances cost them dear as, against the run of play, Llandudno grabbed a winner with five minutes remaining.

The U13s and U15s were both on the end of 5-1 defeats against the New Saints.