Crewe Alex 6 TNS 10
Team consisted of – Lewiz GK, Josh Gk, Riley, Josh B, Luke, Kyran, Owen, Will, James, Joe, Rhys, Sam, Alfie and Dylan.
TNS came home with a memorable performance against one of the country’s leading academy’s after a fine display from every one of our players. Crewe dominated the first 5 minutes keeping the ball well, TNS had to keep their shape and be patient for their chance. The lads hardly touched the ball and then out of nowhere Sam Aplin pounced on a loose ball and slotted home the opener, the first time the Saints had been in the other half. After that Crewe again looked to take possession and when Joe Drummond and Josh Burnett broke down another attack Sam was through again. Crewe were shell-shocked to have dominated a game so much but to be two goals down. Unfortunately though TNS couldn’t hold the game for long and five minutes of madness saw TNS go from 2-0 up to 5-2 down. The players went in at half time and coach Kieran Lee-Birch was able to make a number of changes with the luxury of a talented squad he had available. TNS came through a sticky five minutes and then started to really dominate. Strong pressing football, Alfie Harrison became un-playable weaving in and out of defenders, Crewe couldn’t cope and when persistent pressure from Dylan Davies hurried the Crewe Keeper into a rushed kick Riley Griffiths scored an absolute screamer from almost the half way line.
This goal gave TNS the confidence and the one of the greatest academies in the country were being given a football lesson, no time on the ball, rushed clearances, Dylan Davies, and another Sam Aplin goal bringing the game level at 5-5 at the second break.
In the next half TNS continued, goal and moment of the match followed when Alfie looped the ball over a helpless member of the opposition, controlled with his knee and smashed the top corner with a full volley, arguably the best goal I’ve ever seen outside professional football. Crewe coaches and parents all clapping Alfie!
6-5 up TNS sat off a bit and went back to their normal counter-attacking football, of course this allowed Crewe plenty of possession. Some good saves of sub-keeper Josh Anders keeping the score down. Then as they do every week TNS waited for the loose ball and countered with really drive and James Nutthall was found who scored making the game in TNS’s control. By now Crewe didn’t know what to do, if they sat back TNS would get the ball and attack, if Crewe played higher up TNS would counter and attack. More goals of Dylan Davies and Aflie Harrison finished the match off. A truly amazing performance off the lads, and a well deserved victory.
Kieran Lee-Birch said “lots of hard work and preparation has gone into getting these lads such a prestigious friendly, we’ve been winning games easy of late and are not going to develop beating teams 9-0 all the time. The first five minutes was horrible, i don’t think our lads touched the ball, but we were patient and won the ball back and scored with the first time we attacked, this further convinces me counter-attacking football is the way forward, possession is ok but if there’s no end product it’s pointless. A special mention to Alfie Harrision and Josh Burnett tonight, both lads were amazing, the whole team were in fact but these two showed us how lucky we’re at TNS to attract such talent to our Academy. Well done all, a fantastic experience, with an amazing outcome.
Crewe Alex 1 TNS 7
Team; Kelson, Sam, Calum, Harvey, Jack, Finley, Mikey, Ieuan, Ed, Ollie, Ralfie.
A very wet, windy and cold Friday evening saw TNS U9’s travel to Crewe Alexandra for just their second game under their new coach. Knowing Crewe would be a very good side to play against, the TNS youngsters were excited to get the game underway despite the miserable weather conditions. However, the first quarter did not go to plan, with TNS conceding 3 goals within the first 15 minutes, looking nervous when in possession of the ball. Although there were some positives after a few chances were created but unfortunately weren’t able to convert any. After a quick team talk and a couple of substitutions TNS started to relax with the ball and started to find their grove, but so did the young lads of Crewe and with their impressive pass and move football they found another 2 goals in the second quarter including a great free kick. If it wasn’t for Sam Gregory-Cork in the TNS goal there could have been more! Great goalkeeping!
The third quarter saw a change of goalkeepers with Kelson Cunnah replacing Sam Gregory-Cork. This quarter also saw TNS become a lot stronger in the midfield having the majority of possession, not to mention the great defending and goalkeeping at the back and the amount of chances created at the other end, with striker Ralfie going close twice, hitting the woodwork on both occasions. In a well battled quarter TNS were unfortunate to concede another goal after the ball slipped under goalkeeper Kelson Cunnah in the tricky conditions. Knowing that we started to play better and create more and more chances, the lads really pushed for that goal they wanted in the last quarter and were deserved with a goal 5 minutes from time when Ollie Sumner scored with a well-placed shot after a great team move.
Special mention to the parents for travelling to Crewe despite the awful weather, and obviously to the team for not giving up and pushing all the way to the end!
Llay United 4 TNS 1
Team: Bobby, Tom W, Ryan, Will, Ed, Jez, Jay, Morgan, Adam, Harry O, Ralfie, Tom P
With TNS U10’s and U11’s travelling to Llay United for their match Saturday morning the 2 clubs agreed to mix up the age groups having 2 teams from each club with a mixture of U10’s and U11’s, with 2 quarters against one team and another 2 quarters against the other team and with the U11’s current coach Nathan being unable to attend Saturday morning, fellow coaches Rob and Kieran took charge for one team from TNS, while Tim took charge of the other.
First game for Rob and Kieran’s side saw a well battled first quarter with both sides creating chances, but TNS taking a slight advantage into the second quarter having created the better goal-scoring opportunities and playing the better football on a rather difficult playing surface! However, TNS finally got the breakthrough in the second half after Tom Potts scrambled the ball over the line, 1-0! For the rest of the quarter TNS created more opportunities, with most of them coming from corners but were unable to convert any chances. First game finished 1-0 to TNS.
Second game of the morning for Rob and Kieran’s side from TNS saw them come up against a stronger, more physical team from Llay United. However, for the first 10 minutes TNS battled well, denying Llay of the first goal of the game with some great defending from U11’s player, Will. TNS almost took the lead when Tom Williams, again from the U11’s made a bursting run from defence firing just over from 20 yards! The second quarter was where both teams started to open up as both sides looked for that first goal, and it was Llay who took the lead, and then TNS conceded again with almost the next attack from Llay, 2 minutes of madness from TNS! However, TNS responded very well and quickly with a great strike from winger Ed as the defender put him under a lot of pressure, but Ed managed to squeeze the ball in from a tight angle, although the fumble from the Llay keeper helped it in! As TNS looked for the equaliser, the defence was left short on a couple of occasions and TNS paid the price as they conceded another two goals. A great piece of skill from Will (whether he knew about it or not) towards the end helped TNS keep out another Llay goal as Will managed to clear it with a scorpion-like flick off the goal line!!
TNS 3 NW Elite 1
The New Saints took on the NW Elite side at the Venue on Sunday afternoon. The game started well with teams playing good football. Trying to play out from the back, and moving the ball well keeping good possession. Both teams seemed to cancel each other out in the first half with both of them defending really well, and limiting each other to a couple of chances each.
For the 2nd half, TNS made 7 changes to their team, changing all midfield and forward players. It was then TNS who broke the deadlock through Eric Brown early in the 2nd half, the TNS striker took his chance well when he found himself 1v1 with the goalkeeper. TNS soon doubled their lead when winger Isaac Dawson hit the ball over the keeper from the right hand side. The away team then came back into the game moving the ball well and creating chances. The TNS goalkeeper, Alex Clarke made a number of close range saves to keep the score at 2-0. TNS then gave themselves a three goal advantage when Eric Brown got his second goal of the game, after superb build up play from midfield players Max Kulbida and Isaac Dawson. The away side then got a goal back, and finally broke the TNS defence, including Ryan McVeagh, Lewis Gorman and Kai Jackson who were superb all night. Full time score ended TNS 3 – NW Elite 1.
Alex Clarke (GK)
Keane Marks (Cameron James)
Callum Evans (Isaac Dawson)
Jack Aplin (Max Kulbida)
Luis Edwards (Toby Roberts)
Owen Cartwright(Liam Davies)
Joey Suckley (Tai Jones)
Thomas Richards-Lyon (Eric Brown)
TNS 0 NW Elite 2
The squad that started were:
Lewis Dutton, Luke Sussex, Tom Halliday, Ben Williams, James Parry, Olli Haywood, Owen Platt, Liam Ihekwoaba, Jordan Tipping, Sam Fowles, Sam Jones
James Gregory-Cork, Jack Vale, Darren Evans, Harry Bower, Haci Ozlu, Tom Jones
TNS 14s welcomed North West Elite to the Venue for an evening kick off friendly fixture. Coach Jason Brindley used this fixture as a chance to swap players and positions about, allowing 3 trial players a chance to impress whilst key players like captain Dan Smith, Jacob Barrett and Callum Murphy played for Elite.
TNS weren’t up to recent standards set, losing the fixture 0-2.
After the game, Jason Brindley said: “I’d like to thank Phil Boyle for bringing Elite down. We used the friendly to look at a couple of our trial players and give a few of the boys abit of extra game time they have perhaps not had enough of recently. Think we found it hard to get into our rhythm, understandable with new players not used to the way we play. I also felt we missed the 3 boys playing for Elite, who were all outstanding. However this fixture was all about giving the boys game time so in that respect I’m pleased. Looking forward to our next fixture on Friday away to Newtown.”
Bangor City 3 TNS 4
Squad: Ben Crump, Aron Jones, Steve McDonnell, Jamie Monk, Will Evans, Taps Kamutasa, Zak Dobie, Sean Phelan, Peter Fletcher, Ryan Smith, Billy Minshall, Harry Jenks, Dennis Bates, Rhys Thomas, Cameron Simpson.
TNS made the long journey to Bangor to play on their new 3g pitch.
Bangor kicked off and went straight on to the attack and won a corner within the first minute. The resulting corner was cleared by the defence. Bangor played the long ball over the top looking for their extremely quick striker at every opportunity. TNS worked hard to prevent this tactic and started to pass the ball around very comfortably. The 3 midfielders for TNS Zak Dobie, Taps Kamutasa and Ryan Smith started to get on the ball and they started to dictate the pace of the game. Taps picked the ball up and played a 40 yard cross field pass into the path of Cameron Simpson, his shot was saved by the Bangor keeper. Zak Dobie did the same pass, soon after, out wide to Cameron, his cross was headed just wide by Harry Jenks. Cameron, Harry and Sean Phelan all had good efforts on target before Bangor scored against the run of play. The 1st shot was saved by Ben Crump, the rebound fell to the Bangor player, whose shot was stopped by Jamie Monk only for the ball to be slotted home. TNS went straight on the attack from kick off with a great cross by Cameron finding Harry unmarked, only to see his header go just wide of the post. TNS continued to look for the go forward looking for the equaliser and it soon came via Sean Phelan. Will Evans took a quick throw in down the left to Sean, who ran at the Bangor defence, cut in side and smashed the ball into the bottom corner of the goal. TNS started to dominate play but Bangor were awarded a penalty which had everyone bemused with the decision. The resulting penalty was dispatched just beating the diving TNS keeper. Bangor went in at half time 2-1 up.
Changes were made and the 2nd half stared with TNS continuing were they left off in the 1st half, pressing and winning the ball back, turning defence into attack. Dennis Bates won the ball in midfield and his inch perfect pass sent Taps off down the right. Taps beat his marker and his inch perfect cross was met by Harry to calmly slot into the goal. The goal lifted TNS up another level. Will Evans was fouled just inside the Bangor half. Jamie Monk floated the resulting free kick in to the Bangor area, Harry Jenks flicked it on and Zak Dobie headed it in to the back of the net. Will Evans won the ball in his own half and ran forward with the ball and played in Ryan Smith. He beat his 2 markers and slid in Zak Dobie who smashed the ball past the advancing Bangor keeper. TNS looked to increase the score and went close through Peter Fletcher, Sean Phelan, Zak Dobie and Harry Jenks. TNS had a blatant penalty somehow turned down when Cameron Simpson was taken down in the box as he was about to shoot! Bangor scored another goal against the run of play.
Steve Monk commented “The lads worked really hard for each other, I don’t think many teams will come here and get a result like we have today. This is their 1st loss this season and they didn’t like it, not one bit. We kept our discipline and played some excellent football. We have had some strange decisions against us and had a blatant penalty turned down, but the lads kept going and moved the ball really well all over the pitch. Will Evans has been working hard on getting forward and his crosses and link up play today was superb. For me, Peter Fletcher has had his best game in a TNS shirt. His touch, passing and movement was unplayable at times. We have scored 4 really good goals today, individual and team goals. The lads have fully deserved their victory today, showing character, belief and desire. We will work hard again in training and look to go again next week.”
Goalscorers: Sean Phelan, Harry Jenks, Zak Dobie 2