Here's how The New Saints line-up in today's #JDWPL fixture at Newtown. Three changes for The Saints today as Byrne, Nembhard and Redmond come in for Edwards, Hudson and Mullan. pic.twitter.com/qJFZj3pBeP
— The New Saints FC (@tnsfc) October 27, 2018
Greg Draper’s second-half penalty ensured that The New Saints FC came from behind to earn a point against Newtown AFC.
Ethan Jones had given The Robins the lead after just 10 minutes and for long periods of the game, it looked as if Chris Hughes’ side would hold on for the three points.
The New Zealand international made no mistake from the spot though, after he was brought down, reinstating The Saints’ one-point lead at the top of the table.
The Saints began the game enjoying large spells of possession and for large portions of the opening 10 minutes, the home side struggled to get a touch of the ball.
The game’s first chance came as a free-kick inside the first minute from Ryan Brobbel went comfortably into the arms of Newtown goalkeeper Dave Jones.
The Robins defended resolutely though and following a good challenge in the centre of the park, the ball rebounded to striker Ethan Jones. Jones did very well to carry the ball forwards, taking it past Joash Nembhard, before firing his effort low, beneath Paul Harrison, and into the back of the net.
Now with their heads up, Newtown continued to defend well. An effort from Greg Draper was blocked by Joe Kenton two minutes later, while a shot from Kurtis Byrne went harmlessly wide of the post.
With 24 minutes gone, Luke Boundford had a golden chance to double his side’s lead. In plenty of space in the penalty area, the ball fell at his feet, but he could only drag the effort wide of Harrison’s left post.
Five minutes later, it was Draper’s chance to go close. He timed his run well, staying onside, and it took a great save from Dave Jones to stop the New Zealand international from finding the back of the net.
As the half wore on, Redmond looked lively. Collecting the ball on the left from Marriott, the number 10 just failed to control the ball and it went out for a home-throw in. The former Hamilton man was also caught offside following Holland’s pass as The Saints pushed for that equalising goal.
It wasn’t to be in the first-half though, as 1-0 was how the sides went in at the break.
Content with what he’d seen in the first period, Scott Ruscoe opted to make no changes to begin the second-half.
TNS continued to push on, looking for that goals that would bring things level. With 50 minutes played, Redmond clipped a free-kick into the penalty area, but the Newtown defence were on hand to deal with the ball at the back post.
Moments later, Kurtis Byrne picked up the ball on the right, before getting his head up and delivering a cross into the box. The ball hit the Newtown defender on the back, evading the incoming Redmond and Draper and allowing the goalkeeper to claim the ball.
With 74 minutes on the clock, and it starting to look like it would be Newtown’s day, a challenge on Greg Draper inside the area brought The New Saints a penalty.
It was The Saints’ number nine who stepped up himself, making no mistake as he calmly dispatched the penalty into the top right of the goal, scoring his 11th goal of the season in the process.
Following the equaliser, it was largely one-way traffic, with TNS enjoying most of the possession and chances. With 79 minutes played, Danny Redmond tried his luck from distance, but the effort went wide of Jones’ post.
Draper went close himself as once again he did well to keep himself onside. He tried to take the ball around the goalkeeper, but Jones did well to get a hand to it and keep the scores level.
With the match drawing to a close, the home side thought they should’ve had a penalty themselves. Callum Roberts did well to get around Simon Spender, before going down in the box. The referee, Iwan Griffiths, deemed the challenge to be fair though and pointed for a goal kick.
Ending on a negative for Scott Ruscoe’s side, Jon Routledge was dismissed in the third minute of stoppage time, picking up a second yellow card for what appeared to be dissent, as he kicked the ball away following the award of a Newtown free-kick.
The point means that The New Saints extend their lead at the top of the JD Welsh Premier League to 1 point following Connah’s Quay Nomads’ draw yesterday evening, and attention now turns to Llandudno FC in the Nathaniel MG Cup.
— The New Saints FC (@tnsfc) October 27, 2018
|27th October 2018||2:30 pm||JD Cymru Premier||2018 – 2019|
|The New Saints FC||1|