Here's how The New Saints start for the visit of Cefn Druids, their first friendly of the 2018-2019 campaign. pic.twitter.com/WnYtFHRRnA
— The New Saints FC (@tnsfc) June 20, 2018
The New Saints were victorious in their first pre-season friendly of the season, running out 1-0 winners against neighbours Cefn Druids.
The match proved to be a good workout for both sides, as they prepare for their upcoming European campaigns, but at times, the lack of match sharpness was evident for both teams.
Aeron Edwards found the back of the net after 73 minutes, to give Scott Ruscoe a winning start to the season.
It was the Saints who started the strongest. Dean Ebbe was first denied by Mike Jones in the Druids goal, with a save low down to his right after seven minutes, before the Irishman hit the crossbar four minutes later.
TNS continued to press and Christian Seargeant, making his return to the starting line-up after an injury ravaged last campaign, fired a shot wide of the post with 16 minutes on the clock.
It was a slow start for the visitors, and a sliced clearance on the edge of their own six yard box was almost inadvertently turned into the net for an own goal 10 minutes later.
There was very little for either goalkeeper to do in the first 45, but Jones was again called into action on 33 minutes, pushing away a low cross into the box from Jamie Mullan.
The Ancients grew into the game in the second half though, and had a chance to take the lead after 55 minutes, but the chance wasn’t taken and the ball went over the crossbar from 10 yards out.
In what is perhaps to be expected in a pre-season friendly, the second half was again a quiet affair. On 69 minutes, a quickly taken TNS free-kick found its way to Seargeant, but again his effort went wide of the post.
The Saints did finally make the breakthrough after 73 minutes, Aeron Edwards picked up the ball in the box, before confidently putting the ball past Jones to give his side a 1-0 lead.
Scott Ruscoe opted for an influx of youth shortly after. All of Liam Parry, Harry Bower, Sam Finley, James Parry and Chris Craven were brought on, and it was the latter that went closest to doubling the lead.
In the first minute of stoppage time, Craven’s goal bound effort from just outside the box was blocked by the Druids defence, but unfortunately for him only resulted in a home corner.
The match provided a chance for the players to pick up vital match fitness as they embark on another Champions League campaign, and with another starting 11 set to take to the field at Maes Tegid on Saturday, the management team will have plenty of decisions to make in the coming weeks.
Substitutions: L. Parry, J. Parry, Finley, Bower and Craven for Ebbe, Mullan, Lewis, Cabango and Marriott.
Lead image: Aeron Edwards being interviewed by BBC Radio Cymru.
|20th June 2018||7:30 pm||Friendly||2018 – 2019|
|The New Saints FC||1|