Saturday the 24th of November is not necessarily a date that would be vivid in anybody’s memory, however, the date signals the start of a special two years for The New Saints Football Club.
On that cold and wet day at Park Hall, Welsh Premier League rivals, Carmarthen Town left with a 3-0 victory but since then The Saints have not looked back.
An abundance of goals coupled with some memorable and momentous performances have equated to an incredible unbeaten run that has now lasted for two years.
In Football, many managers continually reiterate the importance of making their home ground a ‘fortress’ and that is precisely what TNS manager, Craig Harrison is currently managing to do.
Having not lost at Park Hall Stadium for over two years, the former Premier League defender goes into every home match, confident of extending the unconquered run.
Harrison, who works closely with the Technical Programmes Manager for the Welsh Football Trust, Carl Darlington, looks set to win a fourth straight Welsh Premier League title with bookmakers making The Saints 1/33 favourites ahead of Airbus UK who are priced at 25/1.
A number of the players that have made this incredible record possible are still playing regularly with the likes of Phil Baker, Steve Evans, Kai Edwards and Connell Rawlinson and of course, club Captain, Paul Harrison all instrumental during the two years.
Nicknamed ‘H’, Harrison has remarkably featured in every single League game during this magnificent run and his number two, Chris Mullock, has featured prominently in the Word Cup, helping The Saints into the 2015 Word Cup Final.
Simon Spender, Chris Marriott, Chris Seargeant and Aeron Edwards have all been key and have featured in most games.
The likes of Sam Finley, Matty Williams, Ryan Fraughan and Alex Darlington have all added important goals during the two years.
Along with players such as Jamie Mullan and Adrian Cieslewicz, Greg Draper and Mike Wilde, who are both prolific strikers have scored a vast amount of goals between them to ensure that The Saints remain unbeaten.
Youngsters such as Scott Quigley, Luke Douglas, Ryan Edwards, Ryan Pryce and Ryan Kershaw have also been involved with the first team and are all pushing for regular starts at the Champions.
Jamie Reed will also add to this already classy squad once he becomes eligible to play for The Saints.
During the unbeaten two years, the Oswestry based Champions have had some unforgettable moments at Park Hall Stadium.
Below are three memorable moments.
Record Breaking Saints – 30th of March, 2013.
The Saints broke a new record by winning the Corbett Sports Welsh Premier League as early as March.
With snow all around the ground, TNS proved how far ahead of their rivals they were and beat Carmarthen Town by three goals to nil to secure the WPL title. The Saints also demonstrated just how far they were ahead of everyone else, by winning the title by a record 22 points in what was a majestic season.
Sam’s Hat-Trick – 28th of September, 2013.
Sam Finley stole the show by scoring a magnificent four minute hat-trick against Carmarthen Town during a comprehensive six nil victory in the Corbett Sports Welsh Premier League.
Greg Draper, Matty Williams and former TNS player, Chris Jones added three other goals between them to seal a six nil thrashing at Park Hall Stadium on what was a remarkable day.
Saints Knock out Airbus – 1st of March, 2014.
The New Saints advanced into the Semi-Final of the FAW Welsh Cup after a 2-0 victory against Airbus UK, thanks to goals from Mike Wilde and Sam Finley.
With the two teams fighting for the League title, the Cup tie was a welcome distraction and could have been won by either side. However, The Saints remained unbeaten at home and advanced into the next round after two late goals at Park Hall won it for Craig Harrison’s side.
Away from fortress Park Hall, there have also been other memorable moments including a 9-1 thrashing of rivals Bangor City, a spectacular comeback in the FAW Welsh Cup final against Aberystwyth Town and TNS look set to add another League title to their list of trophies this season.