Saturday, June 16, 2012

Draper caps the Saints' thrilling revival

GREG Draper notched his 17th-league goal of the season to complete a thrilling comeback as The New Saints beat Bala Town 3-2 at Park Hall.

The Kiwi international beat visiting keeper Terry McCormick inside his left hand post from Simon Spender's whipped cross into the box after 84 minutes to seal three vital points in what was a roller-coaster victory.
TNS made a tentative start to the game with the Lakesiders' Stephen Brown sending in the first shot and Ian Sheridan firing a 25-yarder just over the angle after dispossessing Aeron Edwards.
Mark Connolly blazed over the bar from Brown's inside pass, but Edwards fired in a shot from Draper’s lay-off that was well saved by Terry McCormick.
Craig Jones found the roof of the net with an angled drive but the visitors were handed a golden opportunity to take the lead when referee Brian James spotted an offence by Chris Marriott, who was ruled to have pushed Stuart Jones in the box, and Lee Hunt converted the penalty to give Bala a deserved lead at the interval.
Nicky Ward levelled when he rattled a curling free-kick off the foot of the post on 57 minutes but the joy was shortlived when Sheridan’s through ball split the home defence for Hunt to score his second of the night.
Sub Chris Seargeant brought the Saints level again after Draper had stepped-over a Tom Roberts left-wing cross and, after Seargeant had gone inches wide of the post, Draper's header completed the revival.
Photo: Greg Draper heads The New Saints' winning goal.

Match facts

Gerard Doherty
Martyn Naylor
Steve Evans
Tommy Holmes
Chris Taylor
John Leah
Scott Ruscoe
Marc Lloyd Williams
Michael Wilde
John Lawless
Jamie Wood
Chris King -> Marc Lloyd Williams (83)
John Toner -> John Lawless (89)
John Lawless (75)

Tony Pennock
Luke Hardy
Gary Lloyd
Martin Giles
Richard Carter
Rhodri Jones
Neil Smothers
Richard Kennedy
Nicky Burke
Mark Dodds
Kevin Aherne-Evans
Nathan Cotterrall -> Neil Smothers (78)
Omar Abdillahi -> Richard Kennedy (78)
Jimmy James -> Nicky Burke (89)
Referee Simon Jones
Attendance 1126