— The New Saints FC (@tnsfc) October 28, 2017
Goals: Routledge (72), Draper (78)
Substitutions: Edwards for Holland (69), Roberts for Brobbel (87), Darlington for Seargeant (90)
Cards (yellow) Holland (43), Routledge (50), Spender (51), Harrison (84)
Card (red) Spender (80)
In the top of the table clash this afternoon at Park Hall, the reigning JD WPL champions gave manager Scott Ruscoe the daylight he asked for, by seeing off a determined Cardif Metropolitan University FC by two goals to one.
Both sides went for the win, and as early as the 1st minute Seargeant down the right found Draper in the box, only for his shot to be saved by Evans.
In a game that ebbed and flowed, it was anything but one-way traffic though and the visitors had two corners in quick succession with ten minutes gone. Two minutes later, Eliot Evans shot from inside the box with Harrison saving well to his left, at the expense of a corner.
Just past the halfway stage in the first half, Spender forced Evans into making a good save as first TNS, then the visitors, pushed for the opening goal.
It was then Harrison’s turn to make a quality stop, as he got a hand to a ball that was heading just below the bar, tipping it over for a corner.
As Nick Pratt blew for the end of the first period both sides felt they could have been ahead in the game.
The lively nature of the match continued into the second period, as again the lure of being league leaders come the end of MD 11 gripped both sides.
At the two-thirds stage of the game, the lively Mullan almost gave the home side the lead, as from a tight angle his header came off the post.
With 72 minutes on the clock the deadlock was finally broken as great work from Mullan on the left found Routledge, who slotted past Evans to put The New Saints 1-0 up.
The lead was doubled six minutes later as substitute Edwards, on the pitch for just nine minutes, played a ball into the box that Draper converted.
The Archers never let their heads drop though and with ten minutes to go of normal time, Simon Spender not only conceded a penalty for handball on the line but received a red card in the process as well.
Stepping up to the mark both literally and metaphorically, Roscrow converted with a well-taken spot kick.
As the University-based side sensed a way back into the game, they pushed forward, as ten-man TNS did what was needed with determined defending.
With the five added minutes, Roscrow’s header went just wide as the referee blew for the final time.
The victory gives The New Saints a four-point lead at the top, with Connah’s Quay Nomads playing Barry Town United on Sunday (tomorrow).
Next up for Ruscoe’s side – who are on a run of fourteen games unbeaten – is Barry at Park Hall next Saturday (November 4 2017).
Lead photograph: Brian Jones. Check out the album from today HERE.
|October 28, 2017||2:30 pm||Welsh Premier League||2017 - 2018|
|Park Hall Stadium|
|The Venue, Burma Rd, Whittington, Oswestry SY11 4AS, UK|
|The New Saints FC||2|