Shropshire Star

The New Saints face up to rivals in league after cup victory

The New Saints are ready to begin the defence of their JD Cymru Premier title against Connah’s Quay Nomads at Park Hall tonight (7.45pm).


The fixture is a repeat of last Saturday’s Nathaniel MG Cup clash between the sides, which Saints won 2-1 in Oswestry after overturning an early deficit.

“I think always winning gives you a psychological advantage,” said TNS head coach Craig Harrison. “But each game’s different – we understand that.

“All games against Connah’s Quay over the last probably three, four, five years have all been really close games.

“There’s an element of competition, there’s a rivalry through domestic football, through personnel et cetera. So, yes, it’s going to be a tough game.

“It always is and it always has been, and nothing will change on Friday night.”

Saints and Nomads were the top two in the JD Cymru Premier last season – with Harrison’s side finishing 22 points above runners-up Nomads.

Saints may give a debut to Jared Harlock, their latest signing, with the midfielder arriving from Blackburn Rovers on a season-long loan earlier this week.

Harlock, 20, joined Championship club Blackburn’s academy from Liverpool at under-14 level.

A regular in the Ewood Park club’s under-21s, he has captained the Rovers youngsters on a number of occasions.

Saints have loaned Billy Kirkman and Ben Woollam to Aberystwyth Town until January to give both players an opportunity to play regular first-team football.

Saints, meanwhile, have been drawn at home to JD Cymru North side Porthmadog in the third round of the Nathaniel MG Cup next month.