New Saints’ Decider Is Evans Sent

The New Saints 1-0 Port Talbot Town

Manager Mark Jones named an unchanged side for the visit to the current league leaders The New Saints while Daniel Thomas returned from suspension to take a place on the bench instead of the unavailable Lee John. The New Saints controlled the game from the start, keeping possession for long periods while Port Talbot defended well and prevented the home side from creating any clear cut chances in the opening exchanges.

Chances at the other end were few and far between however with Drew Fahiya looking the most likely to test The New Saints defence as he caused problems for the home side with his pace despite suffering an early knock. The New Saints came closest to scoring with Matthew Berkeley causing problems for Port Talbot Town on the left but the eventual goal would not arrive until the 45th minute. Former Wales International defender Steve Evans was in the right place when a corner was flicked on by Aeron Edwards and Evans made no mistake from close range to slot the ball past Lee Kendall just before the break.

Port Talbot kept possession better early in the second half but struggled in the last third of the field with poor delivery leaving striker Martin Rose with very few opportunities to bring his side back into the match. At the other end The New Saints could have made it two if not for a fine save from close range by Lee Kendall midway through the second half. Both sides made a series of substitutions but neither made a difference as the home side maintained their lead. With chances limited for the visitors the result did not seem in any doubt as The New Saints defended well to claim a thoroughly deserved maximum points.

25th January 2010 – Evening Post

Port Talbot maintain poor record at Saints

Port Talbot travelled to The New Saints full of confidence on the back of an eight-match unbeaten run but returned home with a 1-0 defeat. Saints are now unbeaten in 15 matches and have conceded only eight goals in their 19 matches to date. The visitors rarely looked capable of breaking them down. But it was a battling display by the Steelmen, who conceded the game’s only goal on the stroke of half-time. Scott Ruscoe fired in a low free-kick and former Wales central defender Steve Evans was the beneficiary of the resulting melee. Port Talbot were not only indebted to stout defence but poor finishing by Matthew Berkeley, Craig Jones and Alex Darlington.

But manager Mark Jones praised his players. “We were competitive but didn’t ask enough questions,” he said. “I couldn’t have asked any more of my players. We beat them 2-0 at home, lost 1-0 on their patch, so we have shown we are up there with the best in this league.” But Port Talbot’s record at Saints speaks for itself — in 10 visits they have claimed one draw and suffered nine losses.

24th January 2010 – Wales on Sunday

New Saints’ decider is Evans sent

Another miserly defensive showing helped the Saints see off the spirited Steelmen at Park Hall to maintain their two-point lead at the top of the league. The Saints have proved a tough nut to crack this term, conceding just eight in 18 league games, and edged the spoils courtesy of skipper Steve Evans’ close-range effort on the stroke of half time. A keenly contested encounter was on the cards with both sides in fine form, Port Talbot arriving at Park Hall without a defeat in eight outings while TNS were unbeaten in 14. The Saints started brightly, with Matt Berkeley, Craig Jones and Alex Darlington all failing to capitalise but the Steelmen more than matched their hosts. However, clear-cut chances were hard to come by, with the visitors’ best openings falling to Matthew Rees, the defender seeing a header saved while blazing a shot over.

The game’s decisive moment came on the stroke of half time when Scott Ruscoe whipped a free kick into the goalmouth from the right and, amid the melee, Evans got the final touch. There was little between the sides in the second period, visiting keeper Lee Kendall making a fine close- range save from Craig Jones, while Berkeley crashed over the rebound. Saints sub Jamie Wood also fired wide after rounding Kendall late on.

Principality Welsh Premier League

Saturday, 23rd January 2010

at Park Hall, Oswestry

The New Saints 1-0 Port Talbot Town

Goalscorers

The New Saints

Steve Evans (45)

Port Talbot Town

None

Referee – Mr Darren Adie

The New Saints

Team – Paul Harrison, Danny Holmes, Chris Marriott, Phil Baker, Steve Evans, Scott Ruscoe, Aeron Edwards, Alex Darlington, Craig Jones, Matthew Berkeley

Subs – Jamie Wood (rep Berkeley – 86), Craig Williams (rep Edwards – 90), Christian Seargeant (rep Darlington – 72)

Yellow Cards – None – Red Cards – None

Goalscorers – Steve Evans (45)

Port Talbot Town

Team – Lee Kendall, Leigh De-Vulgt, Lloyd Grist, Karl Lewis, Matthew Rees, Lee Surman, Scott Barrow, Neil Thomas, Martin Rose, Liam McCreesh, Drew Fahiya

Subs – Nicky Holland (rep Fahiya – 60), Matthew Thompson (rep Lewis – 68), Daniel Thomas (rep De-Vulgt – 68)

Yellow Cards – Karl Lewis (34), Lee Surman (45), Liam McCreesh (69) Red Cards – None

Goalscorers – None

Attendance – 216