As The New Saints of Oswestry Town face Bala Town for the second time in the JD Welsh Premier League this season, again the fixture comes comes on the back of a heavy defeat.
In August 2017 it was just the second game of the campaign, as the reigning champions were rocked by a 5-2 reversal at Bangor City on MD1.
Any worries about TNS’ form though were quickly dispelled a week later, as a goalless first half was followed by a brace from Fletcher and a Hudson header on his debut, to give Scott Ruscoe his first three points in his new role as manager.
Blaine Hudson’s coming on as a 36th minute substitute was a bitter/sweet story as although it heralded the arrival of what has been a very successful TNS career to date, it was also an injury to Steve Saunders that paved the way.
The Scotland international has not kicked a ball in a competitive match since, although he is now back in training so hopefully it won’t be too long before we see him once more in contention for a starting place.
The game against Bala at Park Hall also saw Tom Holland make his JD WPL debut. Joining in the summer, the ex-Manchester City and Swansea City midfielder has gone on to become an integral part of the Ruscoe / Evans side.
The upcoming game at Maes Tegid on Tuesday, January 2 2018, follows a shock 4-2 home defeat against Newtown AFC. Like the previously mentioned defeat against Bangor City, it again offers the opportunity to bounce back.
Scott Ruscoe, as always, will be taking the game seriously. “We’ll have to have a look at it; we won’t be doing anything drastic” he commented after the Robins game when asked about team changes. “We’ll get the lads together and we’ll pick the side that we think can win the game.”
Following Bangor City’s 1-0 home reversal against Llandudno on New Year’s Day, the eight-point gap between the sides is maintained, with the third-placed Citizens now having played one game more than TNS.
In second spot is Connah’s Quay Nomads who are six points behind The New Saints but have also played one game more.
If you are not at the Bala Town game then follow the action on our Twitter account (@tnsfc) or via TNS Radio, with the link for the latter here on the home page of our website.
Lead photograph: Blaine Hudson turns after scoring on his TNS debut. Photo: Brian Jones.