Saints denied by Budrys

The New Saints remained five points clear at the top of the table after drawing one all with Airbus UK at Park Hall stadium.

Darlington opened the scoring in the third minute but Chris Budrys levelled for the away side in the 81st minute.

The former Wrexham man headed in from close range to give his side a dream start after he had been picked out by Chris Jones.

Although Craig Harrison’s men were controlling the game, the visitors had two headed opportunities. Firstly Andy Jones headed wide from a corner and then minutes later, Budrys headed just wide.

Airbus continued to push forward in search of an equaliser and Ryan Wade volleyed wide from just inside the box.

However, seconds later and TNS nearly made it two. Chris Seargeant rifled a powerful shot at Jamie Coates and Greg Draper latched on to the rebound but his shot trickled just wide.

With ten minutes left to play in the first half, Airbus enjoyed their best spell of possession. The pressure forced Paul Harrison into a great save as the TNS captain kept out a fantastic effort from Sam Hart.

The visitors continued to push forward in the second half and Ian Kearney went close to equalising after hitting an excellent long range shot that whistled just past the post.

On the hour mark, Sam Finley expertly skipped past a couple of Airbus defenders before firing over from the edge of the box.

Soon after, Chris Marriott found himself on the edge of the box and forced Coates into a good save, as The Saints looked to secure the three points.

With nine minutes left to play, Andy Preece’s side levelled. After a goalmouth scramble, Budrys tapped in from close range.

Substitute Mike Wilde nearly grabbed the winner after being picked out by fellow substitute Jamie Mullan but the former Chester City striker headed just wide, as The Saints ha to settle for a point.

The TNS team was Harrison (C), Spender, Marriott, Baker, K.Edwards, A.Edwards, Finley, Draper (Wilde 70), Jones, Seargeant and Darlington (Mullan 77).

The unused substitutes for TNS were Rawlinson, Fraughan, R.Edwards and Simms.

The Airbus UK line up was Coates, Short, Pearson, Kearney, Field, A.Jones, Budrys, Wade, Roddy (Williams 77), Hart (Wignall 74)  and Owen.

The unused substitutes for the visitors were S.Jones, Bolland, Hassell, Abbott and Emberton.

The referee was Mark Whitby.