Jonny's Blog

Boss Craig Harrison hit the nail on the head with his comments in Friday’s Shropshire Star.

He was quoted saying he believed the trip to Newtown would be the biggest threat to their unbeaten run so far this season, and how right he was.

Travelling up I called a 2-2 draw due to my previous loyalties with the Robins, however the team sheet was a bit of an eye opener prior to the game, as the Robins began with no recognised centre halves.

Sutton, Cadwallader and Mills-Evans were all injured, and Chris Hughes had benched danger men Sean Evans and Luke Boundford, and to add to that, the side had taken part in a feisty Mid Wales derby on a heavy pitch in the week.

However they are the Saints bogey side and again they proved on Saturday.

Yes they rode their luck, especially in the first half as Williams and Draper hit the bar, and Quigley wasted a guilt edge chance midway through the half.

At the break though, when it was 11 against 11, you always felt Newtown had a chance due to their past record, and they were offered the three points on a plate after Paul Harrison was given his marching orders for taking down Jason Oswell.

But Newtown’s Mr Reliable Craig Williams, who missed his previous spot kick against Rhyl, and his penalty saved by his former team mate Chris Mullock who became the hero of the hour for the Saints.

They did press forward and have other chances, but they were made to rue them early missed chances, as Craig said in his post match interview.

The run of Newtown being the Saints bogey team continues, and it seems the surface and the quality of their opponents never seems to faze them in these games.

Elsewhere the Saints lead at the top was cut to 13 points after Bala steamrollered Port Talbot in South Wales.

It was fitting that Ryan Valentine grabbed a February 14th goal, with Ian Sheridan and Connall Murtagh also grabbing goals before a late Luke Bowen consolation.

That is nine goals conceded and one scored in the second phase for the Steelmen, after that terrific first half of the season, which saw them re-build after last season’s disaster.

They are safe in the top six, but Bernie McNally will want to string a few results together and gather momentum going into the play offs, however it gets no easier next week as they travel to the Airfield.

And Airbus were nearly missed their flight yesterday, but a last gasp Tom Field goal completed his hat-trick and kept Andy Preece’s side in the Europa League hunt, and just four points behind Bala.

The battle for second spot seems to be heating up, and down the bottom it is now getting tasty too.

A late Michael Parker equaliser just about kept Prestatyn alive down the bottom, but they are still nine points adrift, however the Bangor revival continues, with an eight goal thriller at home to Druids, who are now dragged into the mire.

Rhyl look to be safe, but Connah’s Quay and Druids are still in their so it is all to play for down the bottom, with eight crucial games left for all the sides in the league.

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