Shropshire Star

TNS enjoy a winning start to defence of Premier title

The New Saints enjoyed a winning start to the defence of their JD Cymru Premier title with an entertaining 6-2 victory over Connah’s Quay Nomads at Park Hall.


Saints twice fell behind in the first half last night to Nomads, last season’s league runners-up, but the champions recovered to lead 3-2 at the break as an Adrian Cieslewicz double was added to by Declan McManus. Last season’s leading goalscorer McManus, Jordan Williams and Leo Smith extended the advantage for Craig Harrison’s side in the second half.

An exciting first half in Oswestry saw Nomads take the lead as early as the second minute as a fine move ended with a composed finish from Noah Edwards.

Home goalkeeper Connor Roberts had to be alert to make a double save from Mike Wilde before Saints pulled level in the 12th minute as Cieslewicz, set up by a pass from McManus, found the net following an excellent move.

Nomads regained the lead after 36 minutes when Jordan Davies converted a cross from Aron Williams.

But Saints were not behind for long as they equalised within a minute as Cieslewicz struck for the second time to make it 2-2.

Wilde headed against a post for Nomads and it was then advantage Saints on the stroke of half time with McManus on target after a fine run and cross from the right by Josh Daniels.

McManus was in the right place at the right time again eight minutes into the second half to head home an inviting cross from Jordan Williams.

Two minutes later Williams went from supplier to finisher when he cut inside and found the net in style.

Saints completed a good night’s work with a sixth goal in the 89th minute as Ben Clark set up Smith to score.