This evening, on the north Wales coast, the reigning champions got their defence of the crown off to the worst possible start, as they crashed 5-2 to Bangor City.
In a lively game, played at a fast pace throughout, there were just five minutes on the clock when veteran, Taylor-Fletcher, played a ball out on the Bangor right to Cayola. The resultant cross was met by Brayden Shaw, who gave Paul Harrison no chance with his header. 1-0
Nine minutes later though, TNS were level, as a free-kick played into the box initially came off the post before dropping to Rawlinson, who made no mistake as he slammed the ball home. 1-1
Within two minutes, the Citizens had restored their lead. Another header, this time from the left, was met by Taylor-Fletcher, again giving TNS’ goalkeeper and captain, Paul Harrison, no chance. 2-1
Just four minutes on, the Saints were almost level again as Darlington fed Cieslewicz who burst into the box, only to see his chip go over the bar.
For the second time in the game though, TNS did equalise. Just past the halfway stage in the first half, another great run by Cieslewicz found Fletcher to his left. The shot was saved but dropped nicely for Mullan, who made no mistake from close-range. 2-2
With the sides level at the break, there was all to play for in the second period. Unfortunately though for TNS, it was Bangor who made the most of the chances. On 61 minutes, a corner kick resulted in Taylor-Fletcher leaping like the proverbial salmon, to put the home side ahead for the third time on the evening. 3-2
This time though there was no comeback, and with just over a quarter-of-an-hour to go, a tremendous long-range effort from Shaw created a two-goal cushion. 4-2
On 81 minutes, Cayola became not only the first Bolivian to play in the Welsh Premier League, but also the first to score, as following a foul in the box, he stepped up to slot past Harrison. His placed shot, to his left, gave the man in red no chance. 5-2
TNS continued to battle away and a late long-range effort from Routledge was pushed away by Roberts in the Bangor goal.
TNS goals: Rawlinson (14), Mullan (24)
TNS substitutions: Seargeant for Darlington (46), Draper for Fletcher (62), Parry for Cieslewicz (70).
Unused substitutes: Brobbel, Hudson, Jones (Aaron), Clark
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|August 11, 2017||7:45 pm||Welsh Premier League||2017 - 2018|
|Bangor University Stadium|
|Woodside, Holyhead Rd, Bangor LL57 2HQ, UK|
|The New Saints FC||2|