TNS continue incredible start to the season with 5-1 win

Reporter:

Daniel Heald

The New Saints’ incredible start to the season continued unabated as they swept Bala Town aside in a 5-1 win at Park Hall on Saturday evening.

The reigning champions have been in imperious early-season form with seven successive victories from their opening seven Dafabet Welsh Premier League games.

The Saints’ 100 per cent record never looked threatened after Steve Saunders had scored after only four minutes.

The injury-hit Lakesiders struggled to cope with the Saints’ potent attacking threat and they were soon two down when a swift attacking move, which began in the Saints half, culminated in a pull-back by Alex Darlington for Greg Draper who headed home from close range.

After the interval, Bala were much brighter and showed more attacking enterprise than in the first 45 minutes.

Kieran Smith had an excellent half-volley parried by Saints keeper Paul Harrison, but Ian Sheridan was beaten to the follow-up by Connell Rawlinson who cleared the danger.

Any hopes of a Bala fightback were effectively ended five minutes later when the Saints were awarded a penalty.

Chris Seargeant stepped up and even though Alexander Lynch dived the right way and got a hand to the ball, he wasn’t able to keep the ball out.

However, the visitors got themselves a goal back a minute later following a quick, fluid one-two between Chris Venables and Sheridan on the edge of the box saw Venables pick out Ryan Wade, who coolly slotted the ball into the net.

Their celebrations were short-lived as the home side added a fourth with a carbon copy of the first goal, as Robbie Parry headed in at the near post from a corner.

TNS were awarded another penalty moments later when Draper went up against defender Anthony Stephens and clipped his feet and tumbled in the area.

Stephens was shown a red card and sent off for dissent, before Seargeant stepped up again and dispatched the ball straight down the middle to make it 5-1.

Reduced to 10 men and with 20 minutes still to play, Bala’s task looked even more onerous after they conceded their third penalty of the match after some apparent shirt pulling in the Bala box.

It was third time lucky for Lynch, who made a diving save to deny Darlington the goal his outstanding performance merited.

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