Saints secure seventh win in row

The New Saints reclaimed top spot in the Corbett Sports Welsh Premier League after securing a three nil win thanks to a Matty Williams goal and brilliant brace from substitute Greg Draper.

Williams gave his side the lead after only six minutes and with only five minutes left, Draper scored two goals in two minutes to give the Oswestry based side a three nil victory.

Early on, Mike Wilde was unlucky to see his looping header come back off the bar but in the next attack, Simon Spender’s cross was cut out by Dave Roberts and the ball fell kindly into Williams’ path. The former Manchester United man made no mistake and gave his side the perfect start.

The Saints who were controlling the game nearly made it two after 20 minutes. However, Wilde was caught offside after being superbly played in by the once again impressive Sam Finley.

After half an hour, Andy Parkinson curled an effort on goal from the edge of the box that Paul Harrison comfortably saved as the visitors looked for a way back into the game.

A minute later, Finley nearly doubled the advantage. A fantastic pass from Kai Edwards was met by the sprinting Finley, who after composing himself, watched his delightful lob fly just inches over the bar.

Moments before half time, Prestatyn went close to levelling the match but despite a desperate lunge from Lee Hunt, Paul Harrison was able to catch the ball without too much bother.

The second half started with Neil Gibson’s side searching for a way back into the game and within seconds of the restart, Ross Stephens rolled the ball past Harrison but the goal was disallowed, after he was adjudged to have been offside. Soon after Hunt hit the side netting from a tight angle as The Seasiders continued to push forward.

Craig Harrison replaced Williams with Ryan Fraughan and within moments of the former Tranmere winger coming on, his excellent cross was nearly converted by Wilde.

Seconds later, the TNS number 11 won a free kick just outside the box. Chris Marriott stepped up but after scoring from a similar distance against Afan Lido a couple of weeks ago, the left back had to watch his shot fly just past the post.

With 12 minutes left, Greg Draper replaced Wilde and within seconds, Fraughan magnificently played the substitute in but as Roberts managed to beat the Kiwi to the ball, Spender found himself with time and space in the box, before firing his shot into the side netting.

With six minutes left, Draper sealed the points. The New Zealand international raced on to a wonderful through ball from Darlington and slotted in from just outside the box.

Draper completed his brace a minute later after wonderfully rounding Roberts and slotting into the empty net to ensure The Saints’ seventh league win in a row.

The New Saints line up was Paul Harrison (C), Simon Spender, Chris Marriott, Kai Edwards, Connell Rawlinson, Sam Finley, Matty Williams (Ryan Fraughan 65), Chris Jones, Chris Seargeant, Alex Darlington and Mike Wilde (Mike Wilde 78).

The unused substitutes for TNS were Ryan Kershaw, Aeron Edwards and Aaron Simms.

The Prestatyn line up was  Dave Roberts, Chris Davies, Jack Lewis, Dave Hayes, Sean Hessey, Gareth Wilson, Michael Parker, Andy Parkinson, Lee Hunt, Ross Stephens (Rhys Lewis 85) and Tom Kemp.

The unused substitutes for the visitors were Simon Williams, Carl Murray, Rhys Owen, Neil Gibson, and Luke Astley.