— The New Saints FC (@tnsfc) October 20, 2017
Goals: Draper (41, 48)
Yellow cards: Brobbel, Holland (82)
Substitutions: Darlington for Seargeant (84), Marriott for Draper (90)
Draper Double Secures Park Avenue Win
For the fourth game in five, The New Saints of Oswestry Town’s in-form striker, Greg Draper bagged a brace. In a game where the wet and windy conditions made play difficult, a goal either side of the break ensured the reigning champions extended their lead at the top.
As both sides looked to stamp their authority on the game, two corners in the fifth minute for the home side were matched by the visitors six minutes later.
Mullan almost opened the scoring but was denied by his former team-mate, Chris Mullock, who pulled off a great save to his left.
With a quarter of an hour gone, it was Declan Walker, in the right place at the right time, who slotted past Harrison, following pressure from The Seasiders.
Draper, leading the line, nearly put TNS back in the picture with almost a third of the game gone, but the ball agonisingly trickled past Mullock’s right post.
The visitors continued to create chances, winning a free-kick when Holland was brought down on the edge of the box.
With the clock ticking down though for the halftime whistle, Draper initially forcing Mullock into a great save, had a second bite of the cherry as the ball crossed the line courtesy of the woodwork.
Just seven minutes later, the New Zealand international made it 2-1 to TNS, making connection in the box with a Mullan cross from the left.
Mullock continued to deny his former Park Hall team-mates, making a great save to his left from a Seargeant free-kick.
The Seasiders never gave up the ghost though and continued to threaten. As the game hit the 72nd minute, Rawlinson against Owen in the box resulted in a corner for the home side.
Great interaction involving Brobbel, Mullan and Routledge ended in a goal kick, as Ruscoe’s side looked to put the game to bed.
It was Declan Walker who should have grabbed his – and Aberystwyth’s – second though, as his header at the far post went the wrong side of the bar.
With three minutes to go, Routledge’s shot from the edge of the box was just wide of Mullock’s post. In the end though the near-misses and good saves from Aberystwyth’s man in orange were academic, as referee Tom Williams blew at the end of two added minutes to extend TNS’ lead at the top to four points.
Both Cardiff Met and Connah’s have a game in hand, which would bring them to within one point of The New Saints. However, Bangor’s surprise 4-2 defeat at Prestatyn Town leaves The Citizens five points adrift in fourth, as we approach the one-third stage of the season.
Next up for Ruscoe’s side is Caernarfon Town who visit Park Hall in the Nathaniel MG Cup quarter-final game on Tuesday, October 24. The kick-off is 7.45 pm.
Lead photograph: Brian Jones. View the album from the game HERE
|October 20, 2017||7:45 pm||Welsh Premier League||2017 - 2018|
|1 Maesyrafon, Aberystwyth SY23 1PL, UK|
|The New Saints FC||2|