Budrys denies Saints

The New Saints and Airbus UK fought out a one all draw at The Airfield despite taking the lead through Chris Marriott.

The Saints who were playing in their 700th Welsh Premier League game opened the scoring when Marriott’s curling corner somehow found a way in but eight minutes into the second half, Chris Budrys converted to level the match and that proved to be the final goal of the game.

The top of the table clash started with both sides searching for the opening goal and therefore the first period of the game became a scrappy but even affair.

Midway through the first half, TNS won a corner and Marriott’s wonderfully whipped in delivery managed to be too much to handle for James Coates in the Airbus goal and the Wingmakers goalkeeper ended up helping the ball into his own net.

The home side started to apply some real pressure and Craig Harrison’s men were forced into some really good defensive work. Firstly Kai Edwards did wonderfully well to cut out a flowing move and minutes later, Marriott managed to bravely block a close range shot. The home side kept pushing on and Mike Pearson should have equalised from the edge of the box but his powerful shot flew inches wide of the post.

Minutes before half time, Ian Kearney met a corner with a powerful header and Paul Harrison did magnificently well to tip the dangerous looking header just over the bar.

The second half started in a similar manner to the first with both Aeron Edwards and Sam Finley firing long distance shots as The Saints looked for a second goal.

Eight minutes into the second half, Chris Budrys equalised when his well hit low shot, found a way past Harrison to pull the home side level. The Airbus number nine found room on the edge of the box and showed plenty of composure by converting his effort past the TNS captain.

The Saints replaced Matty Williams with Alex Darlington and the former Wrexham man set up Mike Wilde within minutes of coming on to the pitch. The TNS number 20 slipped Wilde in and the former Chester City striker was somehow denied by the advancing Coates.

With only ten minutes left, Steve Jones worked some space for himself inside the box but somehow blasted the ball over from close range.

Deep into injury time, Finley nearly won the game. The energetic midfielder produced a delightful effort from the edge of the box that flew just over the bar to ensure that the match ended in a well fought draw.

The New Saints line up for the match was Harrison (C), Spender, Marriott, Baker, K.Edwards, A.Edwards, Finley, Williams (Darlington 59), Mullan (Fraughan 79), Jones and Wilde (Draper 83).

The unused substitutes for the Champions were Simms and Rawlinson.

The Airbus UK line up was Coates, Owens, Short (Hart 69), Pearson, Kearney (C), Field, Wade (Partridge 83), Owen, Budrys (Abbott 87), Jones and Roddy.

The unused substitutes for the home side were Bolland and Edwards.