Today is the final game of phase one in the #JDWPL. Here's how The New Saints will line-up against Bangor City. Just the one change from the win over Prestatyn Town, with Jamie Mullan coming in for Wes Fletcher. pic.twitter.com/DlCncjKea7
— The New Saints FC (@tnsfc) January 13, 2018
Goals: Edwards (79), Hudson (87)
Substitutions: Darlington for Draper (76)
Yellow cards: Routledge (6), Pryce (80)
The New Saints of Oswestry Town 2 Bangor City 1
In a game played at a terrific pace – although on paper a draw wouldn’t have been a bad result for either side going into the final phase – it became obvious that both managers had set their stall for nothing less than a win.
In the early exchanges, Blaine Hudson with memories of Boxing Day at Latham Park in his mind, surged forward only for his shot to go well high and wide on this occasion.
The impressive Luke Wall broke free with ten minutes on the clock, winning a free-kick outside the box, as Routledge picked up a yellow card in the process.
Four minutes later it was the Bangor wide man again down the right, this time a great tackle from Tom Holland denied further progress.
All TNS fans’ eyes were on Greg Draper as the game passed the quarter of an hour stage. Having scored 99 league goals to date, the striker hit a ball that unfortunately for him – and everyone else – dipped over the bar.
End-to-end action ensured that both sets of supporters were entertained. A great touch from Wall ended with a tame effort at Harrison, followed by Brobbel’s powerful shot at the other end, again at the keeper.
With Wall setting up Gary Taylor-Fletcher just moments later, a volley from the ex-English Premier League man was met by a great save from TNS’ captain, Paul Harrison.
As the half wore on, the pace and passion of the game continued. With almost half an hour on the clock, Draper turned and hit a well-placed shot, only for an equally impressive reaction from Hall as he pushed over.
Further efforts from both sides were unable to break the deadlock, as the teams went into the halftime talk goalless.
The New Saints started the second period the brightest, with a ball in from Brobbel down the left put behind by Laurence Wilson. The resultant corner was met by Connell Rawlinson, only for his header to go over.
With both keepers needing to be alert, firstly Harrison pulled off a great save from George Harry, followed a minute later by Jamie Mullan finding Draper only for his scissors kick attempt to go straight at Hall.
The action continued with neither side finding the back of the net – until the 70th minute. A ball played in from the right by Brobbel was met by Hudson. Rising the highest, it was perfectly planted beyond Hall’s reach.
The scenes of jubilation however quickly evaporated as the referee disallowed the goal. Not to be discouraged though, it merely inspired the home side and nine minutes later the deadlock was broken. Aeron Edwards finished well, planting the ball into the bottom corner. 1-0
The lead lasted just three minutes though as the Citizens hit back to level the game. A great save by Harrison, was met with a Taylor-Fletcher follow-up that was again kept out. However, it was a case of third time lucky as Wall crashed the ball home as the Bangor City faithful experienced emotional highs of their own. 1-1
However, within five minutes – and with with three left to play of normal time – they went to the opposite end of the spectrum as Hudson scored what proved to be the winner. Down TNS’ left, and in the penalty area at a tight angle, the impressive defender saw his powerful shot hit the back of the net. 2-1
The game brings the first phase of the JD Welsh Premier League to a close, with The New Saints in a very strong position. Following Connah’s Quay defeat at Aberystwyth Town it means that TNS has a 12-point lead over the Nomads in second place.
Bangor City along with Bala Town – occupying third and fourth respectively – both trail the reigning champions by fourteen points.
The Man of The Match, as chosen by our Weston Rhyn Supporters’ Club, was awarded to Blaine Hudson.
Photographs: Brian Jones. View the album on our Facebook page here.
|January 13, 2018||5:15 pm||Welsh Premier League||2017 - 2018|
|Park Hall Stadium|
|The Venue, Burma Rd, Whittington, Oswestry SY11 4AS, UK|