Sam saves Saints

The New Saints remained six points clear at the top of the Corbett Sports Welsh Premier League after drawing one all with Airbus UK, thanks to a Sam Finley equaliser.

Chris Budrys scored the opening with a close range volley after an hour but within minutes, Finley grabbed an equaliser to seal a point for the WPL Champions.

At a windy Hollingsworth Group stadium, both sides struggled to gain control during the early stages of the game. Aeron Edwards forced Jamie Coates into a low save after ten minutes before the visitors won a free kick on the edge of the box. However, despite Chris Marriott getting his free kick on target, Coates was equal to his effort.

With few and far chances being created by both teams, Alex Darlington went the closest to breaking the deadlock midway through the first half but the former Wrexham striker’s powerful long range free kick, was kept out by Coates.

After a dour first half, the second half started a lot better with both sides pushing forward.

Craig Harrison’s side nearly opened the scoring after Finley’s excellent cross field ball found Chris Jones. The pacy winger controlled the ball and drove into the box but his low cross was just missed by Mike Wilde at the front post.

Moments after, Darlington released Jamie Mullan, who did fantastically well to create space for himself just inside the box, before shooting just wide.

On the hour mark, Ryan Wignall found  himself on the edge of the box but his powerful drive was comfortably kept out by Paul Harrison.

Minutes later and the deadlock was finally broken. Chris Budrys ghosted in behind the TNS defence and beat Paul Harrison with a close range volley to give The  Wingmakers the lead.

Seconds after the goal, Lee Fowler replaced Alex Darlington and the debutant was involved in the equalising goal for The Saints.

Folwer picked out Finley and then the TNS number eight set Chris Seargeant up on the edge of the box. The former Everton man was somehow denied by an incredible save from the Airbus goalkeeper but Finley continued his run and poked home the equaliser from just inside the six yard box.

The Saints continued to push forward after the equaliser with the impressive Finley constantly causing problems for the home defence. However Airbus nearly grabbed the winner after a goalmouth scramble that was somehow kept out by the stubborn TNS defence.

Full time: Airbus UK 1-1 The New Saints.

The New Saints line up was Paul Harrison (C), Aeron Edwards, Phil Baker, Kai Edwards, Chris Marriott, Sam Finley, Chris Seargeant, Alex Darlington (Lee Fowler 65) , Chris Jones, Jamie Mullan and Mike Wilde.

The unused substitutes for TNS were Greg Draper, Connell Rawlinson, Curtis Jones, Ryan Edwards, Aarron Simms and Ryan Kershaw.

The Airbus UK line up consisted of Jamie Coates, Lee Owens, Sam Hart, Mike Pearson, Ian Kearney (C), Tom Field, James Owens (Mike Roddy 87), Ashley Williams, Chris Budrys (Andy Jones 89), Ryan Wade (Steve Jones 85) and Ryan Wignall.

The unused substitutes for Airbus were Steve Abbott, Jason Oswell, Aaron Hassall and Zyaac Edwards.