The New Saints maintain status quo at top

The New Saints remain five points clear as JD Cymru Premier leaders following a draw at Maes Tegid in Saturday’s top-of-the-table clash.

The New Saints manager Scott Ruscoe
The New Saints manager Scott Ruscoe

Just like the original meeting between Saints and second-placed Bala Town at the end of September – which was abandoned in the closing stages owing to floodlight failure with the teams level at 2-2 – the top two could not be separated again in the replayed fixture.

Substitute Ben Clark gave Saints the lead as the match moved into the final 20 minutes, but Bala quickly pulled level through Chris Venables as the points were shared.

It means TNS are still unbeaten in the league this season, with eight wins and two draws from their 10 matches.

Bala started brightly with Will Evans twice going close in the early stages. Then Oliver Shannon came close to a breakthrough for the hosts when he was denied by a post.

Saints threatened at the start of the second half as Adrian Cieslewicz struck the bar wth an effort from the edge of the penalty area.

It was then Bala’s turn to also hit the bar, with a cross from Evans coming back off the woodwork.

TNS took the lead in the 71st minute when Clark, having just been introduced by boss Scott Ruscoe off the bench, immediately made his mark by coolly lifting the ball over goalkeeper Alex Ramsay with his first touch.

But Bala were level within six minutes as Venables directed a header past Paul Harrison.

TNS are next in action when they host fourth-placed Barry Town United at Park Hall on Saturday.

TNS: Harrison, Spender (Harrington), Hudson, Astles, Marriott, Smith, Holland (Clark), Routledge, Mullan (Ebbe), Robles, Cieslewicz. Subs not used: Draper, Boateng, Rees, Williams.

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