Cymru Premier League

The New Saints 2

Cefn Druids 1

The New Saints boss Scott Ruscoe admitted he was happy with the points but the not the performance as Dean Ebbe’s stoppage-time winner gave TNS all three points.

The Irishman scored with a deft header shortly after Greg Draper levelled following Cefn Druids shock lead at Park Hall on Monday night.

Ruscoe was happy with the win and the circumstances it arrived in to remain top of the the league, but felt his players were slow out of the blocks.

“It’s just about the three points tonight,” he said. “We had an excellent performance and result against them on Boxing Day but we can’t just expect to turn up and win.

“I’m angry because I told the players at half-time, the performance was tepid. I gave them a deserved rollicking because it was too slow.

“We finished the game how we should have started but it’s how I get that constant mentality into the players. It’s ability and attitude but the players have that. Sometimes it’s very difficult to turn that on and off.

“Ryan Brobbel led the second-half showing. We changed formation, we couldn’t take him off, we couldn’t take Greg off and I put on all three forwards.

“They had an off night but I knew Greg would have one chance. I’m thoroughly delighted with the reaction to going a goal down because we have winners in that dressing room.

“If we didn’t, we wouldn’t win that game but it’s sustaining that desire and tempo every week.”

Brobbel had the home side’s first sight of goal in the ninth minute when Michael Jones tipped his 25-yard left-footed effort over.

At the other end, seven minutes later, TNS skipper Paul Harrison was called into action, but was equal to Nathan Peate’s strong header from 12 yards, pushing it over.

Blaine Hudson thought he had put Saints ahead on 35 minutes, but his towering header from Jamie Mullan’s corner was cleared off the line by Mike Pritchard.

Druids were appealing for a penalty but Peate’s claims were waived away, and the half ended with no added time, giving a taste of the little action.

Saints looked to have stepped up their efforts in the second period when both Draper and Danny Redmond both went close in the opening five minutes.

Redmond was next to test Jones, firing a left-footed half-volley from 25 yards following good work from Draper.

But it was Ofori who put the visitors ahead seconds later when he tapped in from eight yards out to stun the home crowd.

Substitute Ebbe could have done better with his header on 83 minutes, but he could only get under the ball from Simon Spender’s tremendous cross.

Kurtis Byrne nearly drew TNS level with minutes remaining but his glancing header could only roll wide.

But Draper was yet again the man to rescue TNS when he was on-hand to slot home from a yard out after Jones failed to stop the ball hitting the bar from Redmond’s cross-cum-shot.

Jones made up for his error when he as equal to Draper’s turn and shot in the dying seconds.

And it was the sub Ebbe who broke Druids’ hearts when he nodded home from nine yards out in the 94th minute from Brobbel’s dinked cross.

TNS: Harrison, Spender, Hudson, Davies (Byrne 75), Redmond, Routledge, Edwards, Cieslewicz (Ebbe 66), Brobbel, Mullan (Whitehouse 90), Draper

Subs not used: Dutton, Nembhard, Harrington