The TNS line-up for our first matchday of the #JDWPL phase 2 away at Cefn Druids. Just the one change for the Saints tonight, which sees Jon Routledge come in for Alex Darlington, who left the club during the week. pic.twitter.com/1ijWitT9St
— The New Saints FC (@tnsfc) February 2, 2018
Goals: Rawlinson (7, 45)
Yellow cards: Holland (16), Hudson (25), Edwards (25)
Substitutions: Kauber for Brobbel (78), Draper for Ebbe (84)
Brace For Rawlinson As Points Shared At The Rock – Cefn Druids 2 The New Saints 2
With second-placed Connah’s Quay Nomads dropping points the evening before, the visit to The Rock was the opportunity for The New Saints to extend the lead at the top of the table to fourteen points.
However, a determined and well-organised Cefn Druids side came from behind twice to share the spoils in a 2-2 draw.
Looking to take the game to the visitors, the impressive Arek Piskorski went close in the early stages with a good effort that was wide of Paul Harrison’s right post.
Winning a free-kick in the seventh minute, the ball in from Chris Marriott was met by by the head of Connell Rawlinson as the centre half put the visitors into the driving seat. 0-1
The defender uncharacteristically gave the ball away in the penalty area six minutes later but then immediately recovered with a great block at the expense of a corner.
As we approached the halfway mark in the first half, a good ball from Dean Ebbe found Aeron Edwards down the right. His ball in went across the crowded penalty area, however, without a connection from either side.
The Ancients equalised in style, in the 39th minute, when Matty Owen laid the ball off to Alec Mudimu. Striking the ball perfectly from outside the box he gave TNS goalkeeper and captain Harrison no chance. 1-1
In the final minute of normal time at the end of the first period, the visitors restored the lead as once more the head of Rawlinson met an incoming free-kick. This time Ryan Brobbel was the provider, with the ball whipped in from the left. 1-2
However, the drama continued deep into added time as another header, this time a close-range effort from Piskorski, pulled Cefn Druids back into the game. 2-2
— James Steer (@steery1991) February 2, 2018
The second period saw Scott Ruscoe’s side look to restore the lead but unfortunately it wasn’t to be. Good work from Brobbel found Jamie Mullan in the box. The tricky winger turned and shot with a deflection resulting in another corner for The New Saints.
Ebbe’s chip went wide, as the carrot of a fourteen point lead at the top of the JD Welsh Premier League spurred the reigning champions on.
However, it wasn’t all one-way traffic. In the 68th minute, a ball in from Piskorski wasn’t dealt with effectively by the defence. James Davies had the perfect opportunity to give his side the lead but his shot went wide of Harrison’s right post.
Right at the very death, well into the added three minutes, its was TNS’ chance to snatch a winner. The ball dropped to Edwards in the box only for the midfielder’s attempt to go well over.
The draw means that with nine games to go, The New Saints have a twelve point lead at the top. Up next is Bangor City at Park Hall next Friday (February 9 2018) with a 7.45 p.m. kick-off.
Photograph album from the game HERE. Credit: Phil Blagg.
|2nd February 2018||7:45 pm||Welsh Premier League||2017 - 2018|
|The New Saints FC||2|