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TNS extend lead at the top

Photo by Brian Jones

THE New Saints moved four points clear at the top of the JD Cymru Premier after a hard-fought 3-1 win against Barry Town United on Saturday (Sept 18).

Goals from Jordan Williams, Ash Baker and Declan McManus did the job for Anthony Limbrick’s side, as they capitalised on dropped points elsewhere around the country.

It was a positive start from Anthony Limbrick’s side, and they could’ve got their noses in front with just 12 minutes on the clock. From a Chris Marriott corner, Ryan Astles watched his header cannon back off the crossbar, before a Louis Robles effort was turned behind.

Both Declan McManus and Leo Smith then went close, firing narrowly wide with 16 and 18 minutes on the clock.

And just a minute later, the opening goal arrived, as Curtis McDonald misjudged the flight of the ball, which allowed Smith to race through on goal.

The number 21 selflessly cut the ball back across the box to Jordan Williams, and the number 17 was left with an easy finish to open the scoring from close range.

But the lead lasted just 10 minutes, as Barry Town United equalised with 29 minutes played. Under pressure from Rhys Abbruzzese, it was Ash Baker who got the unfortunate touch, diverting the ball past Paul Harrison for an own goal.

Limbrick’s team wasted no time whatsoever in retaking the lead following the restart though. Jordan Williams’ ball back across the six-yard box found Baker at the back post, where the number 24 made no mistake in smashing it into the back of the net.

Down the other end, some good defending from Keston Davies stopped Kayne McLaggon from working an opening, before an effort from Clayton Green almost snuck into the bottom corner on the hour mark.

The Saints had chances to extend their lead further, but Declan McManus’ 71st-minute strike went over the crossbar, as they pushed for the winner.

But in the fourth minute of second-half stoppage time, The New Saints did find the goal which wrapped things up. Some more great work by the impressive Williams created an opening for McManus, who tapped home his 10th of the season, and 100th career goal, from five yards out.

The win sends The New Saints four points clear at the top of the JD Cymru Premier, as the league takes a week-long break for JD Welsh Cup action. Limbrick’s team travel to Conwy Borough in the third round of that competition on Friday (September 24).