The New Saints back in league action after Flint game switched

The New Saints resume their JD Cymru Premier season against Flint Town United at Park Hall tonight (7.45pm).

Chris Marriott of TNS during the JD Cymru Premier League fixture between The New Saints(TNS) and Bala Town at the Venue Stadium(Park Hall) on Saturday, March 6, 2020...Picture credit: Mike Sheridan/Ultrapress..MS2021-057.
Chris Marriott of TNS during the JD Cymru Premier League fixture between The New Saints(TNS) and Bala Town at the Venue Stadium(Park Hall) on Saturday, March 6, 2020...Picture credit: Mike Sheridan/Ultrapress..MS2021-057.

Saints are a point clear at the top of the table following an unbeaten start to their league campaign which has seen them win five and draw the other of their opening six games.

Their last league match saw them emerge 7-0 winners at Cardiff Met University.

Craig Harrison’s side slipped to a rare home defeat on Friday night as they were knocked out of the SPFL Trust Trophy following a 3-0 reverse against Scottish Championship club Dundee in Oswestry.

Looking ahead to tonight’s match, TNS captain Chris Marriott said: “They’ve started quite well, Flint, haven’t they, so, yes, it will be a tough game, like it always is against most teams, and we’ll have to be prepared.”

Flint are currently seventh in the table, five points behind Saints having played a game more, and drew 1-1 at Haverfordwest County on Saturday.

Tonight’s match had been scheduled to be played at Flint, but has been switched to Park Hall after concerns were expressed over some of the dimensions of the club’s new playing surface.

Flint chairman Darryl Williams issued this statement which was published on the club’s website over the weekend: “Flint Town United are appalled at the FAW’s decision yesterday afternoon (Friday) to switch Tuesday’s game to TNS. Our new pitch was passed by FIFA approved inspectors, all pitch measurements were correct and forwarded to FAW.

“Last Saturday, the match referee took it upon himself to measure the pitch with a pedometer, a notoriously unreliable tool for such surfaces, and reported he had ‘found’ discrepancies around the penalty boxes. Following consultation between the two clubs, Bala Town kindly agreed for the game to go ahead.

“PST, our pitch installers duly sent their engineers to the ground within 12 hours, to re-examine the markings. Using a steel calibrated measuring tape, they exactly confirmed FIFA’s own measurements.

“The club subsequently informed the FAW of this but we were informed independent verification was necessary and were assured that this would take place early last week. Unfortunately, through no fault of our own, this failed to happen and a decision was subsequently taken to switch the game.

“FTU are dumbfounded at this sequence of events. The Club are in discussion with the FAW as to parity of opportunity for all pitch measurements in the Cymru Premier.”

Williams added: “On behalf of Flint Town United, I would like to offer my sincere apologies to the many supporters who would have attended Tuesday night’s game, for any inconvenience caused.”

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