Saints Go Four Points Clear After Victory In JD Cymru Premier Top Two Clash

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Match Report

Goals: Morris [own goal] (26), Spender (69)
Yellow cards: Marriott (4), Nembhard (59), Hudson (66)
Substitutions: Ebbe for Edwards (50), Byrne for Draper (89), Harrington for Routledge (90+2)

Match report by Sam Wood

The New Saints moved four points clear at the top of the JD Cymru Premier, with a huge 2-1 win against Connah’s Quay Nomads, as they closed out Phase One at Park Hall.

The visitors took the lead through Mike Wilde in the 15th minute, before an unfortunate Callum Morris own goal brought TNS level with 26 minutes played.

A second-half Simon Spender goal was enough to secure a win for The Saints, despite the visitors missing a golden chance in the fourth minute of stoppage time.

First-half

It was the Nomads who made the faster start and within a minute of the opening whistle, the visitors had the ball in the back of the net. Paul Harrison had been bundled over in the process however, meaning referee, Rob Jenkins, disallowed the goal.

But Andy Morrison’s side continued to press and did eventually take the lead with 15 minutes played. It was a superb ball from ex-TNS loanee, Callum Roberts, that carved out the opening, as he picked out Mike Wilde at the back post.

Wilde, the other former Saints player in the visitors’ squad, couldn’t miss, as he climbed highest above Marriott to head his side into the lead. 1-0.

Further Nomads chances followed, as Insall almost met a Farquharson cross from the right, and Harrison pulled off a smart save down to his right with 22 minutes gone, but the TNS defence held firm against the pressure.

And down the other end, Scott Ruscoe’s side got their reward four minutes later. An inviting ball from the right was sent into the box by Jamie Mullan and it was Nomads’ captain, Callum Morris, who got the unfortunate touch in his efforts to deny Greg Draper, as he defected the ball past his own goalkeeper. 1-1.

Roberts was causing problems for The Saints down the left, and almost created a second for his side in the 38th minute. His cross somehow evaded everyone in the middle however, flashing across the face of goal.

Second-half

The Saints were the side in the ascendency as the second-half began, despite Scott Ruscoe being forced into an early change, with Dean Ebbe replacing the injured Aeron Edwards.

Continuing his impressive first-half display, it was Jamie Mullan who created The Saints’ first chance of the half in minute 55. The number 14 showed great skill to take the ball around a couple of defenders on edge of the box, before a last-ditch block denied his shot.

At the other end, Blaine Hudson needed to stay alert, as he challenged for a ball in the air with Mike Wilde. The number 12 did well though, as he was strong enough to force the Nomads striker to head over the crossbar.

And just when it looked as if both sides would settle for a point, Simon Spender popped up to give his side the lead.

It was great vision from Draper to start the move, as he spotted Cieslewicz in space down the left and the number 11 carried the ball forward to work space for a cross.

His cross reached Spender on the far side, where the Wales under-21 international struck the shot first time, and a big deflection took it past Lewis Brass, sparking celebrations at Park Hall, as he made the score 2-1.

And things were looking comfortable for The Saints right up until stoppage time, when Morrison’s team started throwing everything at the game. 

In the 90th minute, Blaine Hudson made a crucial, sliding block as he prevented Michael Bakare from scoring a certain equaliser. And in the fourth minute of stoppage time, Roberts missed a glorious opportunity to steal a point for his side.

After Harrison misjudged a long ball forward, it fell kindly for the Nomads’ number three at the back post, but he couldn’t keep the shot down however, and with the goal gaping, the ball went high over the crossbar.

Details

Date Time League Season
18th January 2020 5:15 pm JD Cymru Premier 2019 - 2020

Ground

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

Results

ClubGoals
The New Saints FC2
Connah’s Quay Nomads1

The New Saints FC

1Paul Harrison Goalkeeper
2Simon Spender Defender
3Chris Marriott Defender
6Jon Routledge 24 Midfielder
9Greg Draper 21 Forward
10Danny Redmond Midfielder
11Adrian Cieslewicz Forward
12Blaine Hudson Defender
14Jamie Mullan Forward
20Joash Nembhard Defender
23Aeron Edwards 7 Midfielder
7Dean Ebbe 23 Forward
21Kurtis Byrne 9 Forward
24Ryan Harrington 6 Defender