Wednesday, April 28, 2010
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Meanest defence key to Saints' title win

THE New Saints set a new defensive record in the Welsh Premier by conceding just 13 goals all season on their way to lifting the title.

At an average of just 0.38 goals per game, it beats by some margin their own previous record of 17 goals in 34 games (average 0.5) during the Ken McKenna management era when the Saints won the title in 2005/6.
It is the sixth time that the Saints have ended the campaign with the meanest defensive record, also achieving the feat when they won the title in 2005 and 2007, and when finishing second and third respectively in 2003 and last season.
The club to come closest to matching the achievement is Barry Town, who let in 23 goals from 40 games (0.58) when they lifted the title for the first time in 1996.
Key to the Saints' success have been the performances of Welsh international Steve Evans since he returned to the club from Wrexham in January 2009, and his central defensive partner Phil Baker.
Young full-backs Danny Holmes and Chris Marriott have both enjoyed impressive debut seasons, while midfield destroyer Barry Hogan and relative veteran Tommy Holmes have also made vital contributions.
Beaten only 12 times, keeper Paul Harrison has helped inspire confidence in his back line team-mates while the whole side has helped out in the defensive effort.
The New Saints were also unbeaten at home during the league campaign, emulating the feat they have achieved twice previously (2005 and 2006) and those of Bangor City (1994), Barry Town (1997, 1998 and 2000), Rhyl (2004 and 2007) and Haverfordwest County (2005).
And they increased their lead at the top of the all-time points total with 1,126 - 38 more than Bangor City and 156 better than Saturday's opponents Aberystwyth, who are third in the list.
Photo: Saints defend a corner at Park Avenue.

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