Second-Half Comeback Sends Saints Top -The New Saints 3-1 Bala Town

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Match Report

Goals: Brobbel (58, 64), Draper (75)
Substitutes: Draper for Byrne (57), Cieslewicz for Edwards (72)

The New Saints sealed a return to top spot in the JD Welsh Premier League with a 3-1 comeback win against Bala Town at Park Hall.

Scott Ruscoe’s side were given a scare when Stuart J Jones fired his side into the lead with 56 minutes played, but a Ryan Brobbel brace, plus a Greg Draper goal completed the turnaround.

The win moves The Saints one point clear of Connah’s Quay Nomads in second place with a game in hand.

First-half

The first chance of the match fell the way of Scott Ruscoe’s side with six minutes on the clock. A great searching ball in behind the defence dropped to Kurtis Byrne who attempted to chip the out-rushing goalkeeper. The effort was too high though and went harmlessly over the crossbar.

It was all TNS in the opening stages of the game. Great footwork showed by Jamie Mullan worked some space on the edge of the penalty area, before the number 14 was eventually fouled by the Bala defence. Ryan Brobbel rattled the woodwork with the resulting effort.

Paul Harrison was called into action for the first time in minute 25. Bala striker, Chris Venables, did well to chest the ball down, before sending a volley in The Saints’ captain’s direction. The number one needed to alert, as he tipped the shot over the crossbar.

The visitors began to grow into the game following that effort. Blaine Hudson did well to dispossess Mike Hayes with a superb sliding challenge, as the Bala man looked to work the ball into the box.

But, suddenly, the game took a dramatic turn. After a brilliant layoff from Byrne set up Redmond in the area, a clumsy Bala challenge sent the former Hamilton man to the ground. The referee pointed to the penalty spot with Redmond himself stepping up to take it.

He couldn’t convert though as a great save from Ashley Morris denied him. The ball dropped at the feet of Edwards for a follow up shot, but the number 23 saw his effort cleared off the line, as The Saints continued to be denied.

Second-half

Scott Ruscoe’s side started the half on the front foot, as good work down the right of the pitch saw a cross reach Brobbel in the middle. He got his head onto the ball, but couldn’t keep it on target, as it fell just wide of the post.

With 56 minutes on the clock though, disaster struck. A visiting corner wasn’t dealt with properly by the TNS defence and after bouncing around several times in the penalty area, the ball dropped to the feet of Stuart J Jones who smashed it in from close range, giving Bala a 1-0 lead.

Park Hall was stunned into silence, but not for long. Just two minutes later, Chris Marriott was bundled to the ground on the edge of the area with TNS on the attack. Just like in the first-half, responsibility fell to Ryan Brobbel. The number eight went one better this time though, as his curling effort took a deflection and ended up in the back of the net, making it 1-1.

Falling behind certainly sprung The Saints into life, and they completed the six-minute turnaround with 64 on the clock. Jamie Mullan’s cross found its way to Blaine Hudson in the box and the central defender took it into his stride. He looked up, spotting Ryan Brobbel at the back post and found him with a pass. The Northern Ireland under-21 international finished well from a tight angle to give his side a 2-1 lead.

And with 75 minutes gone, the points were wrapped up. Substitute Greg Draper expertly took the ball in his stride, before unleashing an outside of the foot shot which snuck in past Morris at his near post. That goal made it 3-1 to TNS, as well as moving the New Zealand internation further ahed in the race for the golden boot.

Bala were unable to respond in the time that remained, meaning the three points stayed at Park Hall, as the push for an eight consecutive JD Welsh Premier League title rolls on.

Details

Date Time League Season
22nd March 2019 7:45 pm Welsh Premier League 2018 – 2019

Ground

Park Hall Stadium
The Venue, Burma Rd, Whittington, Oswestry SY11 4AS, UK

Results

ClubGoals
The New Saints FC3
Bala Town1

The New Saints FC

1Paul Harrison Goalkeeper
3Chris Marriott Defender
5Jack Bodenham Defender
6Jon Routledge Midfielder
8Ryan Brobbel Midfielder
10Danny Redmond Midfielder
12Blaine Hudson Defender
14Jamie Mullan Forward
21Kurtis Byrne 9 Forward
22Kane Lewis Defender
23Aeron Edwards 11 Midfielder
9Greg Draper 21 Forward
11Adrian Cieslewicz 23 Forward