Connah's Quay Nomads stun Kilmarnock as Welsh underdogs claim Europa League shock


Welsh side Connah’s  Quay Nomads produced a miraculous comeback in Scotland to dump Kilmarnock out of the Europa League.

Now Kilmarnock boss Angelo Alessio was making his home debut at Rugby Park, having replaced Steve Clarke at the helm.

And the Italian had been expected to lead Killie – hosting their first European tie in 18 years – into the second round of qualifying after landing a 2-1 first leg lead last week.

But it will be the minnows who face Partizan Belgrade, after a 2-0 win stunned the former Chelsea , Juventus and Italy assistant manager and his side.

Second-half goals from Ryan Wignall and a penalty from Callum Morris upset the formbook, and booked a place in the next round for Andy Morrison’s men.

Callum James Roberts leads the celebrations

Connah’s Quay should have taken an early lead when Michael Wilde’s low cross was dummied by Declan Poole and ran for the unmarked Morris but from eight yards out and with the goal at his mercy he somehow put his effort wide.

Kilmarnock then spurned chances to make the breakthrough as Rory McKenzie drive forward and slide possession to Greg Taylor but the full-back scuffed his effort goalward and goalkeeper Lewis Brass saved. The rebound came back to McKenzie and he lashed in a shot but Brass was equal to the test as he pulled off a fine save to turn it wide.

Taylor was then presented with another chance when Burke pirouetted on the edge of the box to create space and then burst into the penalty area and his cross came to the Scotland international but once again he could not force the ball past Brass.

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Delight for the Welsh boys

Kilmarnock right-back Stephen O’Donnell tested Brass twice in quick succession but the keeper stood firm to keep out his efforts.

Connah’s Quay wiped out Kilmarnock’s one-goal lead five minutes into the second half through a Wignall header.

Declan Poole swung in a dangerous cross from the right flank and Wignall glanced home a header into the bottom corner beyond the despairing dive of Killie goalkeeper Jamie MacDonald.

An inauspicious start for this man

Kilmarnock were still ahead on the away goals rule but now this European tie was on the knife edge.

And Connah’s Quay Nomads were in the driving seat with 11 minutes to go as they grabbed their second of the night through a Morris penalty.

Sub Jamie Insall broke in behind the Killie defence and was hauled down inside the box by a last-gasp Findlay challenge.

Rouge for Findlay

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The Killie defender was sent off by Hungarian referee Ferenc Karako and from 12-yards out Morris made no mistake.

Connah’s Quay Nomads were reduced to 10 men with five minutes remaining when Wignall received his marching orders after picking up a second booking following a crunching challenge on Alan Power.





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