In the final game before the JD Welsh Premier League ‘splits’, The New Saints of Oswestry Town hosts Bangor City in a 1st v 3rd clash. With an eleven-point gap between the sides going into the game, a win for Scott Ruscoe’s outfit would put them in a commanding position for the remaining ten matches.
However, the visitors are on an excellent run of their own, with just one loss in ten JD WPL games – against Llandudno. Following the 5-2 reversal at Bangor City on opening day, The New Saints have tasted defeat just twice in twenty league fixtures, as two impressive statistics go head-to-head.
The first time that the sides met in top flight football was back in 1994 when Llansantffraid lost 8-0 at Farrar Road. It was not until December 1996 when a 2-0 victory on the road gave, who are now The New Saints, their first win against the Citizens.
Since then the pendulum has swung heavily in favour of TNS, who find themselves on a run of six consecutive league titles. The last side to win the league was Bangor in 2010/2011, when The New Saints finished second.
To find the last time the Saints failed to finish in the top three, you have to go back to the turn of the century and the 2000/2001 season. That’s an incredible sixteen campaigns on the bounce, which highlights the club’s dominance in Welsh domestic football this millennium.
Greg Draper, who currently finds himself on 99 league goals with The New Saints, acknowledges the tough game that lies ahead. Equally so though, on the back of two very impressive performances against Bala Town and Prestatyn Town, the reigning champions have every reason to feel confident.
The kick-off time is 5.15 p.m. and admission to Park Hall is £8 / £4 / £1. If you’re not at the match you can follow the action via TNS Radio. The link is here on the home page of our website.
Lead photograph: Alex Darlington in action against Bangor City on opening day. Credit: Brian Jones.