Brabin spares TNS blushes
A LATE Gary Brabin goal saved The New Saints' faces at Greenfields as they were held 1-1 by Market Drayton.
A makeshift starting eleven struggled to contain the Midland Alliance outfit and offered little in the way of a cohesive threat going forward.
Mark Davies was forced to clear off his line in the fourth minute, but the Saints were restricted to a couple of openings. John Leah fired just wide and keeper Andrew Pryce did well to deny trialist Luke Holden when he was put through by an excellent Davies pass.
Martyn Davies brought a good save from Saints' keeper Paul Harrison and the hosts deservedly took the lead just after the break. A mis-placed pass from Ashley Hill was seized upon by Stuart Ellis who fed Davies unmarked for a simple chance past Harrison.
As Ken McKenna gradually introduced his big guns the Saints' play improved and they began to dominate the Reds, with Leah just wide from 20 yards and Michael Wilde going close with a header.
Jamie Wood had the ball in the net from an offside position, but it was Brabin who finally unsettled the home defence. After going narrowly wide with a header from Steven Beck's cross shortly after coming off the bench, he got the better of Paul Tomlin to divert a Holden free-kick into the net past sub keeper Andrew Spooner.
Wilde could have won it when heading wide another accurate set-piece from the excellent Holden, who has been the most impressive aspect of the last two friendlies.