Here's The New Saints' 11 to take on Cefn Druids this afternoon. There's just the one change from last weekend's win over Bala Town. It sees Simon Spender make way for Chris Marriott. #JDWPL pic.twitter.com/UvLeRoxm5z
— The New Saints FC (@tnsfc) March 25, 2018
Goals: Draper (8, 47, 49, 83), Holland (41)
Yellow: Pryce (78)
Substitutions: Rawlinson for Saunders (15), Clark for Marriott (60), Kauber for Holland (64)
Match report by Sam Wood
Despite winning the JD Welsh Premier League on Friday night following Bala Town’s loss, it was a thoroughly impressive display from The New Saints as they beat Cefn Druids 5-1 at Park Hall.
On the day the Saints lifted the trophy for the seventh consecutive season, Greg Draper broke the 100 league goal barrier in style, scoring four goals.
The win moves TNS 16 points clear at the top of the table with four matches remaining, and a trip to Bangor City beckoning next Saturday.
It was almost the perfect start for The New Saints after just one minute, as Ryan Pryce broke into space down the middle. He switched the ball out wide to Ryan Brobbel but his curled effort was blocked by the visiting defender.
More good work from Pryce down the right allowed him to find Greg Draper, but the striker’s effort was hit just over the crossbar after 5 minutes.
He didn’t have to wait too much longer for another chance though. Two minutes later, the ball deflected into his path, giving him a one on one with the goalkeeper and his deft touch beat Michael Jones in the Druids net and finally gave him his 100th TNS league goal.
After 20 minutes, Aeron Edwards picked the ball up in the pocket between defence and midfield, before turning and unleashing a great effort that was just wide of the right post.
The frame of the goal was in the spotlight again just four minutes later. Ryan Pryce unleashed a powerful effort from outside the box, hitting the crossbar, but the ball bounced the wrong side of the line from a TNS perspective.
The New Saints continued to threaten the Druids goal. After 28 minutes Ryan Brobbel had the ball in the net, but unfortunately for him, the assistant had the flag up.
The next 10 minutes were fairly quiet but TNS continued to dominate. A great touch from Tom Holland in the box gave him a chance on goal, but his effort curled inches over the top left post.
But just a minute later it was Holland again. He picked up the ball following a well worked corner and smashed an effort past Michael Jones who was rooted to the spot, and extended the lead to 2-0.
It was the perfect start to the second-half for Greg Draper. After 47 minutes he rose highest to meet a cross and expertly power a header into the top corner for his second and TNS’ third.
Just a minute later, Mullan broke into space down the right and drilled an effort towards goal which, perhaps unintentionally, was chested over the line by Draper again who completed his hat-trick.
Cefn Druids almost had a consolation goal after 68 minutes. A cross earned the visitors a free-kick following a handball and it was that set piece taken by Matty Owen that went through everybody and struck the foot of the post.
Draper rounded off the home scoring on 83 minutes, scoring his fourth goal and The New Saints’ fifth, tapping home the ball from six yards out to finish off an incredibly impressive TNS display.
The Druids did eventually get their consolation however, when Matty Owen found the back of the net with a well struck free-kick from the edge of the box in the 90th minute, but it did very little to take the shine off of an impressive performance by The New Saints.
|25th March 2018||2:00 pm||Welsh Premier League||2017 - 2018|
|The New Saints FC||5|