The line-up for today's home meeting with Newtown. Two changes for The New Saints, with Paul Harrison returning to the team in place Aaron Jones and Robbie Parry starting in place of Aeron Edwards. Greg Draper's boxing day red card was rescinded so he keeps his place #JDWPL pic.twitter.com/aZrZ67b7wB
— The New Saints FC (@tnsfc) December 30, 2017
The New Saints of Oswestry Town 2 Newtown AFC 4
Goals: Draper (11), Mullan (15)
Yellow cards: Marriott (41), Brobbel (70)
Red card: Parry (45+3)
Substitutions: Edwards for Brobbel (79), Darlington for Holland (84)
Match report by Jamie Burgoyne
As the clouds rolled in above Park Hall, on the penultimate day of 2017, The New Saints welcomed back Newtown, four days after the away leg, a memorable five-goal thriller described by Stewart Bloor, TNS’ media frontman, as the most exciting he’d seen.
The New Saints hit the ground running, attacking straight from the whistle. Just nine minutes in, Robbie Parry hammered a shot into the bar, whilst the Newtown defence panicked, as if being visited by the ghost of the Boxing Day reverse fixture. Two minutes later, Brobbel dribbled the ball into the box, making a defence-splitting through ball to Draper, who made use of his unmarked position, beating the Newtown keeper effortlessly.
As we approached the 15 minute mark, there was another break by TNS as Ryan Brobbel duplicated his previous assist, this time finding the feet of Jamie Mullan, who controlled and cannoned the ball into the top centre of the goal, a shot that the best of keepers would struggle to get a hand to.
As The New Saints capitalised on the defensive errors of Newtown they started to sit back, playing a possession game rather than pressing the Newtown defence. However a loose cross from Williams caught the diving head of Newtown’s Ryan Sears, on loan from Shrewsbury Town, catching The New Saints’ defence off guard.
As the Newtown manager, Chris Hughes, danced up and down on the touchline for his team to press, the squad replied, as Neil Mitchell fired at the left post, however Jamie Reed failed to capitalise on an unmarked position and fired wide.
Less then a minute later Nick Rushton fired a strong cross from the right wing, which Luke Boundford headed mightily into the back of the TNS net, as Newtown levelled up fashionably. As we approached the break, a strong cross over to Robbie Parry saw the ball bounce up unintentionally to hit his arm, leading to a red card following insults at the referee. As the whistle that ended the first half sounded, there was a lot to think about on both sides of the park.
As the second half began, TNS repeated the attacking form as we saw at the early sparks of the game with shots from Marriott and Draper trouble David Jones.
As the game settled, tensions start to rise, as free kicks were dished out to both sides. Following a Jamie Reed attempt that hit the far post, a driven Newton corner found the strong head of Luke Boundford, catching Paul Harrison off guard and TNS were behind for the first time.
As TNS became more and more frustrated, a defensive error saw Nick Rushton completely free on goal, successfully beating Paul Harrison and extending Newtown’s lead to 4-2. As TNS had a shot cleared off the line in the dying minutes of stoppage time, Newtown continued to counter.
It was not until the final whistle blew, Newtown players and fans celebrated alike. For Newtown, this was not only a fantastic comeback, but also revenge for their boxing day loss. However, this was just a bad day in the office for TNS, who maintain a 6 point lead and a game in hand, away at Bala Town, as we near the end of Phase 1 of the JD Welsh Premier League.
|30th December 2017||2:30 pm||Welsh Premier League||2017 - 2018|
|The New Saints FC||2|