Penybont 2

The New Saints 3 By David Figg

An ENTERTAINING game between The New Saints and newly-promoted side Penybont was decided by an 86th minute goal by Dean Ebbe to give the defending champions three points.

It was a game in which Saints never trailed, but the hosts took them to the wire, equalising on two separate occasions.

Greg Draper gave the visitors an early lead as he pounced on an error, before Ebbe got his first of the afternoon just before the break.

Ebbe’s late winner was enough to save Saints’ blushes and make it two wins from two games.

Shortly after the game got underway, Paul Harrison was called into action when Nathan Wood’s strike proved to be an early test for the experienced stopper, but he held on well to deny an early goal for Penybont.

Then, up the other end of the pitch, Saints were gifted a goal when a pass from Rhys Wilson in the Penybont goal, fell too short to reach a teammate, and instead found Draper who had the simple task of firing home into an empty net.

Another chance fell Draper’s way moments later, but the 30-year-old was denied a second.

Penybont were not behind for long, as they restored parity in the 20th minute through Daniel Griffiths.

His low shot found its way past Harrison and levelled the scores at the Kymco Stadium.

Penybont looked set to be heading into the break with the score at 1-1, but right on the stroke of half-time, Ryan Brobbel floated a cross into the area towards Joash Nembhard who nodded the ball down for Ebbe to fire into the net from close-range.

Saints took a one-goal lead into the second half, and looked for an important third goal which would have put a bit of space between themselves and their hosts.

But it was soon level again when the referee awarded a penalty to Penybont after a handball in the area by Chris Marriott.

Kane Owen stepped up and fired home to bring his team level again.

The game was hanging in the balance with just short of 20 minutes to play, with the Bont having several chances of their own to go ahead. As the game drew towards the 90th minute, Saints were desperately looking for a winner and had Penybont on the ropes.

It was not until the 90th minute that the game had its final goal.

A ball was lofted into the penalty area by Danny Redmond which was met at the back post by Ebbe, who sent the ball back across the penalty area into the path of Kurtis Byrne.

Byrne hit a powerful strike across goal and into the path of Ebbe who had repositioned himself well to guide the shot into the net with one touch to make it 3-2.

The goal proved the difference as Saints took the points from South Wales.

Saints are back in action on Friday night when they host Bala Town (kick-off 7.45pm).

The Macron Cup

Round One

Maine Road 3

FC Oswestry Town 0

A SECOND half collapse by FC Oswestry Town saw them crash out of the Macron Cup in the first round at the hands of Maine Road.

Town struggled to match the performance of their hosts in the first half, and as a result failed to make a breakthrough.

And they were punished after the break as the Sky Blues scored three times to send themselves through to the next round.

After early pressure from the Oswestry men, the hosts began to grow into the game, with both sides having a handful of half-chances early on.

The home side started to look the stronger of the two teams, with Ben Mooney coming close after 20 minutes with a close-range left-footed effort that was dragged just wide.

Mooney then had a header saved well by Mason Springthorpe, before heading goalwards again, only to be denied by the crossbar.

It was all one-way traffic after the break, and the deadlock was finally broken for the hosts when Jamie Hill played the ball through to Jack Coop on a counter-attack, who was able to break through and slot past the keeper.

Town looked for a way to get back into the game, and brought on Scott Bright who had returned to the club after spending a long spell elsewhere.

As they began to push for an equaliser, the side was leaving too much space for Road on the counter-attack, and the hosts eventually made use of this to score a second goal.

Hill, who provided the assist for the opener, struck a shot which took a deflection and looped over Springthorpe and into the net.

It looked an almost impossible task for Town to turn the game on its head with such little time remaining, and that task was made even more difficult when Mooney, who came close several times during the first half, scored a third goal for the hosts to send his team through to the next round.

Town are back in league action on Saturday when they host West Didsbury and Chorlton at home. They will then turn their attention to the north Shropshire derby with St Martins on Tuesday, October 29.

The Macron cup

First Round

Padiham 9

St Martins 1

AFTER trailing 3-1 at half-time, St Martins suffered an onslaught from North West Counties Premier Division side Padiham in the second half of their opening fixture in the Macron Cup.

Saints were sent crashing out of the cup in the first round after an unstoppable performance from the hosts.

Luke Noble netted four times for the home team, while Dom Craig grabbed a first-half brace.

William Wells’ strike for St Martins turned out to be nothing more than a consolation.

St Martins were looking for a strong start against the side currently in 18th place, one league above them, but the difficult fixture lived up to its expectation early on with the hosts taking the lead after 24 minutes.

Chris Lynch was the man to get his team off the mark, before Craig doubled the lead four minutes later.

St Martins had roughly the same number of chances early on, but Padiham stopper Tom Scott was on form to keep them out.

Less than a minute after Padiham’s second, Wells reduced the deficit to just one goal when he headed Harrison Millington’s deep cross over Scott and into the net.

But before the break, Padiham restored their two-goal advantage when Craig fired home his second of the afternoon to make it 3-1 at half-time.

Noble then got his first of the day in the opening minute of the second half.

A steady flow of goals followed for the hosts during the second half as they showed their quality.

Harry Pratt scored the side’s fifth goal, before Noble bagged his second in the 57th minute, before scoring again in the 75th minute to round off his hat-trick.

Things got worse in the final five minutes of the game as Sam Harding added an eighth goal, before Noble rounded off the rout with his fourth of the afternoon to make it 9-1 in the 90th minute.

St Martins have now lost 12 consecutive games in all competitions.

Saints will return to league action with a game away at Wythenshawe Amateurs on Saturday.

They then take on FC Oswestry Town on Tuesday, October 29.

Shropshire Premier League Premier Division

Gobowen Celtic 3

Brown Clee 0

A MATTHEW Evans-Hardy brace helped Gobowen Celtic to victory against bottom of the table Brown Clee on Saturday.

The result was enough to send Celtic to second in the table, just one point behind leaders Wellington Amateurs Development.

Aftre their three-goal win, they now have better goal difference than Amateurs and also have a game in hand to play, from which a win would send them into top spot.

Gobowen will look to keep up their strong start to the season with a win over Albrighton away on Saturday.

Elsewhere, Shrewsbury Juniors kept the pressure on Gobowen as they won 3-0 against Madeley Sports.

Shrewsbury have a game in hand over Gobowen, and two games in hand over the current league leaders, meaning two wins from their games in hand would see them take the top spot.

There was a seven-goal thriller between Hopesgate United and Stoke Heath in the remaining fixture on Saturday.

Stoke picked up the three points with a 4-3 victory.

Prees United’s fixture with St Martins Village and Telford Juniors’ scheduled match with Albrighton was postponed until a later date.

JD FA Wales Cup

Round One

Chirk AAA 0

CPD Llannefydd 3

ELGAN Roberts’ brace from the penalty spot for CPD Llannefydd ensured Chirk AAAs’ miserable start to the season continued as they were sent out of the FA Wales Cup in the first round.

Five-time winners Chirk were looking to turn round their misfortunes so far this season by setting off on a cup run, but it was not to be for the Colliers.

Ynyr Clwyd bagged the first goal of the afternoon in the first half, to set Chirk back by one goal at the break.

The hosts looked as though they were still in with a chance of winning the game, until Llannefydd doubled their lead through Roberts halfway through the second half with a spot kick.

The referee spotted another infringement shortly afterwards and awarded the visitors a second penalty.

Roberts doubled his tally and gave his side a three-goal cushion to confirm the win.

Chirk will turn their attention back to the league on Saturday, when they host Castell Alun Colts (kick-off 2.30pm).

Elsewhere in the cup, there were notable wins for Mold Alexandra, Gresford Athletic and Bangor 1876.

Mold sent out a statement to their fellow competitors for the cup with a comfortable 8-1 victory over Waterloo Rovers.

It was a dramatic end to the fixture between Bangor 1876 and Penycae – with the sides level at 3-3 when the final whistle blew, the game went to penalties, with the Bangor men holding their nerve and progressing to the second round.

And it was a comfortable win for Gresford who scored five without reply at Coedpoeth United.