Thursday, June 14, 2012

Saints seek points against resurgent Lakesiders

THE New Saints will be wary of a resurgent Bala Town outfit as they look to keep their Welsh Premier title challenge on the boil at Park Hall on Friday night (7.45pm).

The Saints have drawn twice with the plucky Lakesiders this season and again expect their visitors to prove a tough nut to crack as they chase a win that will keep them in range of leaders Bangor City.
Victory would lift TNS to just one point behind the Citizens who have a tricky home clash with third placed Neath on Saturday.
The Bala encounter marks a dress rehearsal for when the sides meet in the Welsh Cup semi-final at the end of the month, so both camps will be seeking to gain the psychological edge as well as much needed points.
TNS can take heart from some miserly defensive displays that have seen clean sheets in their last four outings, two in the league and another two in the Welsh Cup and League Cup that have helped keep their treble bid alive.
And head coach Carl Darlington has been delighted at the way the Saints have rallied after suffering a disappointing 2-1 loss at home to Neath a month ago.
“Neath was our worst performance of the season, but it has been a good response since then,” he said.
“As well as playing pretty football we have shown a lot of heart, desire and belief and we have shown to everyone how adaptable we are as a team.
“We’re in two cup semi-finals and our fate in the league is also in our own hands, so it is a terrific position to be in."
Darlington, however, admits points will be hard-earned against a fifth-placed Bala side who have improved considerably this season.
“They have invested as a team, have got some excellent players, and have shown they’re a force to be reckoned with,” he said. “We’ve played them twice this season and had two difficult games with them, and Friday will be another test for us."
Defender Connell Rawlinson is still suspended, while youngster Charlie Proctor pulled a hamstring in the win over Airbus in midweek.
Photo: Craig Jones takes on John Irving when the sides drew 1-1 in August.

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