WARD SEALS FIRST-EVER WIN AT BARRY
Saints' Nicky Ward, who scored twice, challenges for the ball with Barry's Gavin Rees [South Wales Echo].
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TNS went back to the top of the Welsh Premier with a 3-2 win at Barry Town.
This was Saints first-ever win at Jenner Park and maintains their 100% league record with eight games now played.
But, despite all the predictions that this would be a landslide victory for Saints, given both clubs positions at opposite ends of the table, the game was far closer than many had thought.
TNS were not on top of their form. They passed the ball poorly and their game lacked its usual fluency.
They had to battle every inch of the way against a Barry outfit who were well-organised in defence and worked tirelessly throughout.
Saints took the lead after just five minutes. Goalkeeper Dean Williams sent a long clearance upfield and found Nicky Ward, who outpaced Barry's Gareth Elliott before firing home with a fine half-volley from the edge of the box.
Barry levelled on 17 minutes when Mattie Davies picked up a loose ball and fired in a memorable shot from 20 yards.
Two minutes later Saints were back in front, when Gary Brabin's long cross-field pass found Martyn Naylor, who passed into the box for Steven Beck to poke in from six yards after a scramble.
The Dragons levelled again just after the hour mark. Lloyd Sloman sent a long ball down the middle for Alan Hughes to latch on to and blast a great shot past Dean Williams from 20 yards.
Saints' winner came from a Martyn Naylor corner with less than a quarter of an hour to go.
Gary Brabin's header was dropped by Lee Rudall and Nicky Ward smacked the ball home from four yards out.
In an exciting game, Dave Bridgwater came on as sub and hit the post and the bar in the closing minutes.
Barry's Chris Bale almost salvaged a point in the dying moments but saw his effort hit a post.
Ken McKenna was delighted with the three points but critical of Saints' poor defending.
"It's a good sign when we play badly and win. That is much better than playing well and losing," he said.