— The New Saints FC (@tnsfc) September 8, 2017
Goals: Mullan (5), Draper (57), Seargeant penalty (67), Spender (87)
Substitutions: Cieslewicz (Parry) 59, Brobbel (Mullan) 70, Darlington (Draper) 79
Yellow card: Roberts (foul) 90+3
On a Friday evening that had very much an autumnal feeling to it, the meteorological conditions were not mirrored on the pitch as The New Saints made it three JD WPL wins on the bounce. The nip in the air and the drizzle that persistently fell did not dampen the spirits of the reigning league champions, as they defeated near-neighbours, Cefn Druids, 4-0.
With just five minutes on the clock, and perfectly positioned in the box, Jamie Mullan opened the scoring as he slotted past Michael Jones, the man between the Ancients’ sticks. The worst possible start for the visitors but they recovered, thanks to some great saves from the man in yellow, to keep the scoreline at 1-0 come the break.
Although the visitors created chances, the bulk of the opportunities in the first period fell to TNS with Greg Draper, starting his first league game of the season, in the thick of the action. With a header that went just wide in the 9th minute, followed by a battling effort that was cleared off the line three minutes later, the New Zealand international was very much in the game from the off.
On 27 minutes he rounded Jones only to see the ball run out for a goal kick and with the first half coming to an end he forced the keeper into another good save, diving to his left to preserve the narrowest of margins between the sides as they went into the break.
The home side continued to take the game to the Druids from the onset of the second period with good work down the left from Roberts finding Seargeant, who like his teammates before him, was thwarted by the impressive Michael Jones.
The keeper was unable to prevent the second goal, however, on 57 minutes, as this time TNS created down the right as the tricky Jamie Mullan weaved his magic. Playing a ball into the box that was met by Draper, the number nine made no mistake as he gave his side that all-important two-goal cushion.
Ten minutes later, the grip was tightened when substitute Adrian Cieslewicz was brought down in the box. Having had plenty of penalty experience last Sunday against Livingston, with six converted in the shoot-out, this time it was down to Seargeant, who slotted it past Jones.
On as a substitute for Draper on 79, it looked as though Alex Darlington had scored with his first touch of the game as he rose in the box to head the ball in the net. His – and TNS’ – joy was short-lived, however, as the referee ruled it out.
There was no doubting the fourth of the night though, as Simon Spender breaking into the box on the right, struck it past the keeper and into the back of the net. It was the icing on the cake, not only for The New Saints but also the energetic right back who had worked hard during the game.
Scott Ruscoe’s men are back in action next Friday (September 15 2017) as they travel to the capital to take on Cardiff Metropolitan University FC. The kick-off is 7.45 pm and we will be bringing you coverage via TNS Radio and Twitter.
Photograph: Brian Jones. You can view the album from the game HERE
Following the game, TNS TV caught up with Scott Ruscoe and Simon Spender and you can watch those interviews below.
|September 8, 2017||7:45 pm||Welsh Premier League||2017 - 2018|
|The New Saints FC||4|