Welsh Premier League leaders The New Saints have set a new club record by remaining unbeaten at Park Hall Stadium for two years. The club is also in pole position to win a fourth straight Welsh Premier League title this season with bookmakers making The Saints 1/33 favourites ahead of Airbus UK who are priced at 25/1.
The unbeaten run started on Saturday 24th November 2012, on a cold and wet day, when Welsh Premier League rivals, Carmarthen Town secured a 3-0 victory over the New Saints. Since then, the team has not looked back and abundance of goals coupled with some memorable and momentous performances have equated to an incredible unbeaten run that has now lasted for two years.
In Football, many managers continually reiterate the importance of making their home ground a ‘fortress’ and that is precisely what TNS manager, Craig Harrison has managed to do. The former Premier League defender goes into every home match, along with the Technical Programmes Manager for the Welsh Football Trust, Carl Darlington, confident of extending the unconquered run.
A number of players that have made this incredible record possible are still playing regularly. They include Phil Baker, Steve Evans, Kai Edwards and Connell Rawlinson along with club Captain, Paul Harrison, all of whom have played such an important role over the last two years.
Nicknamed ‘H’, Harrison has remarkably featured in every single League game during this magnificent run and his number two, Chris Mullock, has featured prominently in the Word Cup, helping The Saints into the 2015 Final.
Simon Spender, Chris Marriott, Chris Seargeant and Aeron Edwards have all been key players and featured in most games.
In terms of goal scoring, Sam Finley, Matty Williams, Ryan Fraughan and Alex Darlington have all made important contributions during the two years. Jamie Mullan and Adrian Cieslewicz have also helped, with the prolific pair Greg Draper and Mike Wilde consistently adding goals to ensure that The Saints remain unbeaten.
Youngsters such as Scott Quigley, Luke Douglas, Ryan Edwards, Ryan Pryce and Ryan Kershaw have also been involved with the first team and are all pushing for regular starts at the Champions.
Jamie Reed will also add to this already classy squad once he becomes eligible to play for The Saints.
During this successful run, the Oswestry based Champions have had some unforgettable moments at Park Hall Stadium.
Here are three of the most memorable:
Record Breaking Saints – 30th of March, 2013.
The Saints set a new record by winning the Corbett Sports Welsh Premier League as early as March. With snow all around the ground, TNS proved how far they were ahead of their rivals by beating Carmarthen Town 3-0 to secure the WPL title. The Saints also demonstrated just how far they were ahead of everyone else, by winning the title by a record 22 points in what was a majestic season.
Sam’s Hat-Trick – 28th of September, 2013.
Sam Finley stole the show by scoring a magnificent four minute hat-trick against Carmarthen Town during a comprehensive 6-0 victory in the Corbett Sports Welsh Premier League. Greg Draper, Matty Williams and former TNS player, Chris Jones added three other goals between them to seal the win at Park Hall Stadium on what was a remarkable day.
Saints Knock out Airbus – 1st of March, 2014.
The New Saints advanced into the Semi-Final of the FAW Welsh Cup after a 2-0 victory against Airbus UK, thanks to goals from Mike Wilde and Sam Finley. With the two teams fighting for the League title, the Cup tie was a welcome distraction and could have been won by either side. However, The Saints remained unbeaten at home and advanced into the next round after two late goals at Park Hall won it for Craig Harrison’s side.
Away from fortress Park Hall, there have also been other memorable moments including a 9-1 thrashing of rivals Bangor City and a spectacular comeback in the FAW Welsh Cup final against Aberystwyth Town.
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