Late Heartbreak At Park Hall, As Barry Snatch Last Minute Equaliser

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Match Report

Goals: Ebbe (3,11)
Yellow cards: Holland (34), Redmond (75), Draper (90)
Substitutions: Draper for Cieslewicz (75)

Match report by Sam Wood

There was late heartbreak for The New Saints at Park Hall, as Barry Town United snatched an equaliser in the second minute of second-half stoppage time.

Having lead 2-0 at the break, and with a great first-half display behind them, things appeared to be going well for Scott Ruscoe’s side.

But a 56th minute fluke, when Luke Cummings’ cross went straight into the net, gave the visitors a lifeline, and they took it with just seconds to play.

First-half

It was a strong start to the match by Ruscoe’s side, who went close for the first time with just two minutes played, when Ryan Brobbel’s cross from the left bounced behind off the bar.

Just a minute later, The Saints took the lead, and it was almost a carbon copy of the fourth goal against Newtown last weekend, as Jamie Mullan picked out Dean Ebbe with a cross from the right.

The Irish striker met the ball with his head at the near post, diverting it past Mike Lewis, and  continuing his superb recent form, as he gave his side a 1-0 lead.

And it got better very quickly for TNS, as Ebbe added a second goal in the 11th minute.

It was a corner which caused problems for the Barry defence this time around, as they failed to get the ball clear after it had bounced back off the crossbar.

In the right place though was TNS’ number seven again, who showed great intelligence to make the score 2-0 with a backwards header and put his side in a very strong position.

And The Saints continued to cause problems for their visitors as the half wore on. Ebbe almost reached another Mullan cross to grab a hat-trick in the 23rd minute, moments before Luke Cooper made a last-ditch block to deny Aeron Edwards from close range.

Barry then enjoyed a couple of rare forward excursions, but Fahiya couldn’t find Touray with a threaded ball, and Tom Holland dispossessed Chris Hugh, as they failed to make the most of them.

Second-half

It was Ruscoe’s side who had the first chance of the second-half, when the ball fell to Ryan Brobbel on the edge of the Barry box in the 50th minute. The number eight couldn’t keep the shot on target though and it went behind for a visiting goal kick.

But all of a sudden, Gavin Chesterfield’s team were given a lifeline. What looked to be a harmless cross by Luke Cummings on the right wing actually snook in at the far post, and all of a sudden, we had a game on our hands, with the score at 2-1.

Down the other end, Mullan went close with a curling effort, and Ebbe watched a driven strike cannon back off the post, as The Saints pushed to restore their two goal advantage.

News then filtered through the ground that Bala had held Cymru Premier leaders, Connah’s Quay Nomads, to a 2-2 draw at Maes Tegid, meaning a Saints win would put their title fate back in their own hands.

The champions knew what they needed to do and chances kept coming, as they continued to put Lewis’ goal under severe pressure. D`nny Redmond tried to catch the Barry ‘keeper out with a quick shot from outside the box, but despite appearing to cause problems, the visiting man dealt with it well.

Soon after, Ebbe again almost reached a Redmond cross this time, before substitute, Greg Draper, sent a tame effort into the hands of the Barry number one.

But down the other end, disaster struck in the second minute of second-half stoppage time. A corner from the right came into the penalty area, and after bouncing around inside the box, it was Barry’s Luke Cooper who reacted quickest.

His header found the bottom corner of Harrison’s goal, levelling things at 2-2, and sparking wild celebrations amongst the travelling Barry contingent.

There were scenes of anguish among The Saints players and fans however, as the gap between second and first place remains at four points.

Details

Date Time
6th March 2020 8:00 pm

Results

ClubGoals
The New Saints FC2
Barry Town United2

The New Saints FC

1Paul Harrison Goalkeeper
2Simon Spender Defender
3Chris Marriott Defender
7Dean Ebbe Forward
8Ryan Brobbel Midfielder
10Danny Redmond Midfielder
11Adrian Cieslewicz 9 Forward
12Blaine Hudson Defender
14Jamie Mullan Forward
23Aeron Edwards Midfielder
44Tom Holland Midfielder
9Greg Draper 11 Forward