JD Welsh Premier League
The New Saints proved their title credentials on Boxing Day with a second-half comeback to seal three vital points at Newtown despite Greg Draper’s dismissal.
A penalty from Draper, moments before his dismissal, got TNS back on track and they drew level with Blaine Hudson’s wonder strike before Ryan Brobbel sealed the win.
Jamie Reed set the hosts on course to a famous victory when he scored twice within five minutes, slotting home a 23rd minute penalty after Kieran Mills-Evans was fouled in the box.
Then on 28 minutes, Reed – a former TNS man – struck well past Aaron Jones, who was deputising for the ill Paul Harrison.
Saints had to for more than 20 minutes into the second half before they sparked hope of a comeback when Draper slotted home after Chris Marriott – skipper for the day – was fouled on 67 minutes.
But Scott Ruscoe and the travelling Saints’ faithful would have been forgiven for fearing the worst when New Zealand international Draper kicked out at Mills-Evans as both men tussled for the ball and he was shown a straight red.
However, Hudson – no stranger to finding the net this term – stepped up to smash home a superb strike from outside of the box and draw TNS level.
The win was sealed when Brobbel – who gave away the ball for Newtown’s second goal – finished, but some say it was Routledge who got the final touch.
Draper later took to social media to apologise for his red card.
The win leaves Saints seven points ahead Connahs Quay with a game in hand on their nearest rivals.