Saints denied in stoppage time

The New Saints drew two all with Aberystwyth Town at Park Avenue.

The Saints had to wait until early in the second half for the first goal of the game and it was well worth the wait. Chris Jones finished off a wonderful solo run by smashing into the top corner from the edge of the box. The Saints didn’t have to wait long for their second goal. A minute later substitute Alex Darlington confidently converted a penalty. Substitute Geoff Kellaway pulled a goal back late on and deep into stoppage time, Cledan Davies scored a dramatic equaliser for the home side.

The game started at a frenetic pace and within minutes of the kick off, Matty Williams hit an effort from the edge of the box but Mike Lewis in the Aberystwyth goal, comfortably saved. Soon after Mark Jones forced Paul Harrison into a great save. The former Afan Lido striker did wonderfully well to create some space, before shooting from the edge of the box, only for the TNS captain to deny him with a fantastic stop.

Midway through the first half, Williams did superbly well to win a free kick for his team just outside the area and Ryan Fraughan was unlucky to see his forceful effort curl just wide. Moments later Greg Draper went close. Williams set him up with a clever pass and the New Zealand international ensured that Lewis produced a good save.

The TNS number ten then went close to breaking the deadlock himself. The former Notts County attacker, struck a powerful shot just over the bar after the home side had failed to clear a dangerous corner from the impressive Fraughan.

On the stroke of half time, Aeron Edwards volleyed just over after Jones had done incredibly well to pick him out. The former Swansea City winger found Edwards at the back post and the TNS number 23 powered his volley just over, to confirm that the teams went into the break goalless.

A minute into the second half, Sam Finley played a great pass over the top of the home defence and Jones raced onto the bouncing ball before setting up Draper. The clinical striker struck a ferocious shot towards the top corner which was somehow kept out by the diving Lewis.

However, only minutes later and The Saints took the lead. Jones picked up the ball around 40 yards out before driving at the Aberystwyth defence and hitting an unstoppable strike into the top corner. The former Neath winger smashed in from the edge of the box after a magnificent run.

A minute later and the lead was doubled. After a crazy scramble in the box, Mark Whitby pointed to the spot and with consummate ease, substitute Darlington slotted in the penalty.

The home side pressed forward in search of a way back into the game and went really close with only fifteen minutes left. Craig Williams struck a low shot that was brilliantly blocked by Harrison but moments later, the former Liverpool goalkeeper couldn’t keep out a great strike by Kellaway. The substitute broke forward and powered an accurate shot into the top corner from just inside the box.

As the match went into stoppage time, Davies scored a dramatic equaliser. The left back hit a powerful shot into the top corner, leaving Harrison with no chance and securing a point for Aberystwyth Town.

The TNS team for the match at Aberystwyth was Harrison (C), Spender, K.Edwards, Baker, Rawlinson, A.Edwards, Finely, Fraughan, Jones, Williams and Draper.

On the bench for The Saints were Ruscoe, Mullock, Simms, Wilde, Darlington and Seargeant.

The Aberystwyth team was Lewis, James, Corbisiero, Hoy, S.Jones (C), Venables, Morgan, M.Jones, C.Davies, Nalborski and Williams.

On the bench for the home side were Butler, R.Davies, Fraser, Kellaway and Thomas.