SCHOLARSHIP youth Neil Prescott has sat patiently on the bench during quite a few Welsh Premier matches this season.
But circumstances have meant Ken McKenna has been unable to give the young defender a chance as substitute until today.
But when the call came for Prescott, who only turned 17 earlier this week, it was to take the gloves and replace Ged Doherty, who was sent off after just 21 minutes.
Neil plays in central defence for the youth team, although he does have previous goalkeeping credentials, but he rose to the occasion magnificently.
The free kick, awarded for the red card offence, sailed harmlessly over his crossbar.
But he dealt superbly with a Jamie Michael shot just before half-time when the striker was clean through with only the young keeper to beat.
And when Luke Sherbon took an opportunistic free kick while TNS were still lining up the wall, Prescott was again on hand to save low down to his left.
He never once gave a glimmer of a chance, although his back four gave him superb protection.
"Losing Ged was a big blow," said manager Ken McKenna.
"But fair play to Neil Prescott, he is a centre half who can play in goal and we owe him a big debt.
"He showed great temperament when he was called upon and I'm really pleased for him."
Born in Darlington, Neil is a defender who likes to get forward and scored for the youth team in their FAW Youth Cup win over Airbus UK this season.
He played for Admaston Juniors before joining the TNS Scholarship Programme and was named today's man of the match by the sponsors.

Photo: Prescott saves a quickly taken free kick from Barry's Luke Sherbon (right).

28 February 2021