With the excursion into the cross-border Irn-Bru Cup now over, it’s back to domestic action this weekend for The New Saints of Oswestry Town. Saturday, February 24 2018, sees the top two in the JD Welsh Premier League (JD WPL) go head-to-head as Scott Ruscoe’s side travel to Deeside Stadium for a 2.00 p.m. kick-off.
With eight games to go, a twelve-point lead and a game in hand, in some quarters the title is already on its way back to Park Hall. However, Scott Ruscoe is far from complacent as he looks ahead to the fixture.
Having met three times so far this season in all competitions – with another three to go, including this fixture – it’s The New Saints who have the upper hand. Back in October last year, a Draper double at Deeside Stadium gave TNS the lead twice, only for the the home side to bounce back on both occasions. The 2-2 draw also witnessed the return from a lengthy injury, as Chris Marriott made the bench in the JD WPL encounter.
A month later, a Ryan Brobbel wonder-strike was all that separated the sides at the final whistle in the Nathaniel MG Cup. The semi-final victory saw The New Saints go on to lift the trophy – the first for Scott Ruscoe as manager – at Aberystwyth’s Park Avenue against Cardiff Metropolitan University FC.
The third game, in the JD WPL, saw our website run with the headline ‘Three Without Reply As Saints Extend The Lead At The Top’, as TNS got off to a great start in the second minute with Jamie Mullan opening the scoring.
The lead was doubled just eleven minutes later, courtesy of Ryan Brobbel, with Jon Routledge’s late goal the icing on the cake. The starting line-up saw seven changes from the previous match, which was a convincing 6-0 victory against Penrhyncoch in the JD Welsh Cup.
Going into Saturday’s game, The New Saints remain unbeaten in 2018 in domestic Welsh football. The 2-2 draw at Cefn Druids is the only blot on what would otherwise be a perfect copybook of six wins.
Connah’s Quay have had a mixed year so far in terms of results. A win in the JD Welsh Cup against Porthmadog FC – setting up a quarter-final tie against TNS – has been complimented by two in the league. However, a couple of defeats and a draw has seen Andy Morrison’s side slip in their title challenge.
Deeside Stadium is located in the grounds of Deeside College in Connah’s Quay and the address is Kelsterton Road, Connah’s Quay CH5 4BR. Taken from the club website, admission is £7 and concessions (Over 65) £3. More information here.
For up-to-date news on TNS’ Official Members Club travel plans, contact: email@example.com
If you are unable to make the game, don’t miss out. TNS Radio will be bringing commentary, with the link here on our website. You can interact with us during the match on the club’s Twitter account (@tnsfc) using the hashtag #TNSRadio.
The referee on Saturday is Dean John, assisted by Martin Roberts and JB Roberts. The fourth official is Mark Petch with Cliff Evans the match delegate.
Lead photograph: Jon Routledge in action at Deeside earlier in the season, when the game finished 2-2. Credit: Brian Jones