The New Saints 4

Cefn Druids 0

The New Saints’ return to league action saw them beat near-neighbours Cefn Druids in their JD Welsh Premier League clash at Park Hall Stadium on Friday evening.

It was Saints’ third consecutive league win and with results elsewhere, it takes Scott Ruscoe’s side up to fourth place on nine points behind early leaders Llandudno.

The first chance came Druids’ way in the second minute when Naim Arsan’s low left foot shot from 20 yards was held to his left by Saints keeper Paul Harrison.

The hosts took the lead in the fifth minute when Jamie Mullan checked before slotting his low right foot shot from nine yards into Druids keeper Michael Jones’s left hand corner after good work from Chris Seargeant and Greg Draper.

Saints went close to doubling their lead in the ninth minute when Tom Holland broke down the right before sending a low through ball to Mullan, whose cross saw Draper narrowly failed to get a touch with his head.

Another chance came Saints’ way on 13 minutes when Seargeant’s cross from the left saw Draper stretch to send his right foot shot from 10 yards just over the bar.

Then at the other end in the 17th minute, Arsan’s quick throw in on the left found Lewis Buckley who ran into the box before Connell Rawlinson got in ahead of Michael Pritchard to clear the resulting cross for a corner.

The last chance in the first half came Saints’ way in the 44th minute when Seargeant forced a fine save from Jones after excellent build-up play by Simon Spender.

On 57 minutes, it was 2-0 when Mullan ran down the right towards the byeline before pulling the ball back for Draper to fire his left-foot shot from five yards to Jones’ right into the middle of the goal.

It was 3-0 in the 67th minute when Spender’s cross from the right found sub Adrian Cieslewicz who was brought down from behind by Nathan Peate on the edge of the six-yard box.

Seargeant calmly fired the resulting spot-kick past Jones into his left hand corner.

Saints thought they had scored again when Seargeant’s free kick from the right found sub Alex Darlington who headed home from six yards. However, their joy was short-lived as the goal was disallowed for climbing.

However, there was no mistake about Saints’ fourth goal in the 87th minute when Seargeant’s low through ball on the left found Jon Routledge who played a one-two with Cieslewicz on the left edge of the box before whipping the ball across the six-yard box.

Darlington slid in without making contact and the ball ran to the in-running Spender who crashed his right foot shot from eight yards into Jones’ top right hand corner.

Saints: Harrison, Spender, Rawlinson, Routledge, Seargeant, Draper (Darlington 79), Parry (Cieslewicz 59), Hudson, Mullan (Brobbel 70), Roberts, Holland.

Subs: Jones, Leak, Clark, Pryce