IT WAS a case of 'what if' as Connah's Quay Nomads squandered the lead - and two guilt-edged chances - before conceding three preventable goals to lose to Ross County.

A fantastic finish from Michael Bakare, who latched onto a pass from Michael Parker before curling the ball into the top corner from the edge of the area, handed Nomads the advantage.

Captain George Horan then turned a close range half-volley over the crossbar and Andy Owens intercepted a careless pass from County stopper Ross Munro, but failed to beat the teenager as he made amends for his error.

"We were playing against a good team and we caught them on the hop and by surprise," said Morrison. "We've had three unbelievable chances and you've got to take at two of them and that changes the complex of the game.

"I'm so proud of the boys, but when those three chances come you have to take them at this level."

The game was turned on its' head after the interval as Ross County, booed off at half-time, quickly took control of proceedings, although Nomads, roared on by a healthy number of the 3,000-strong crowd, stood firm until 15 minutes from time.

And when the leveller did arrive Nomads be kicking themselves as substitute Josh Mullin caught Danny Holmes on his heels and his cross somehow found a way through John Danby's legs.

That man Mullin quickly added his and the Staggies' second as Ross County made their dominance of the ball count.

Danby will feel he might have done better with Mullin's tame looking strike that ended up in the middle of the goal, but Ross were allowed in behind Nomads and that proved decisive.

Number three was as disappointing as a short corner was worked to Jamie Lindsay, who advanced into the penalty area and beat Danby, who took the ball away from George Horan on the line.

Morrison conceded: "Every goal they scored was a mistake. Somebody has switched off, somebody has got caught by the inside run - they are tiny little details, but at the top level against top players, they will find the little pockets of space.

"They did find the little pockets in behind us, down the sides, and maybe at a different level teams wouldn't be able to see it so quickly and pick us up, but these are good players."

It was always going to take a monumental effort from Nomads to get the better of a Ross County side destined for a place in next season's Scottish Premiership.

The gulf in class eventually told, but Nomads were far from outclassed, just like they weren't on their way to victories over Falkirk, Coleraine, Queen's Park and Edinburgh City.

Morrison felt that Ross County's celebrations proved that the Scottish outfit knew they'd been in a dogfight for the trophy.

"We leave here with our heads held high," he continued. "You saw the way they celebrated victory - and that's not a little team from Wales, and we've given them a real test.

"I was impressed with them, they are a good outfit, so well done to them."

Nomads' captain, Horan, was left to wonder whether beating the Scottish Championship high-flyers was a step too far, but has savoured his side's run to the final of the competition.

"We set up with a game plan and Bak's scored a corking goal," said Horan.

"But myself and Andy have got to score because it's a different game if we are two or three-nil up.

"They are a decent team, we knew they were going to be good and big and physical, and it was a good game.

"The competition has been great for us this year, it's been a breath of fresh air.

"This was maybe a step too far, I don't know, but I thought we did ourselves justice."

Staggies' joint-boss Stuart Kettlewell was delighted as his side staged a second-half comeback to land the silverware.

He said: "We faced adversity again, but our strength of character and quality shone through in the end.

"We are delighted to win any silverware, so it's a good day for the club.

"We knew we would have to stand up and be counted.

"We were disappointed with the goal we lost, it's unlike us to concede from that one through-ball, but we asked the players to get a grip of the ball in the second-half, and I thought we more than merited victory."