The New Saints 2    Bala Town 1
Brobbel 82, 90        Venables pen 17

A Ryan Brobbel brace inspired The New Saints to a thrilling comeback at Park Hall as a they narrowly saw off the challenge of second placed Bala Town.

The visitors had looked full value for a win mid-way into the second half after Chris Venables had given them an early lead from the penalty spot, but an 82nd minute thunderbolt from Brobbel dragged the home side level and the former Middlesboro man scored a sensational winner with virtually the last kick of the game to send TNS five points clear at the top of the Cymru Premier. 

The first chance of the game fell to Bala's Paul Rutherford, who pounced on a mis-hit clearance from Ashley Baker but his effort on the turn lacked the necessary power and Harrison was able to save comfortably low to his left.

And after a bright start, the visitors had a deserved lead when Chris Venables was bundled over by a clumsy looking challenge from Chris Marriott, and he made no mistake from the penalty spot, smashing his effort past Paul Harrison.

And they should have doubled their lead just moments later, and it was Venables again who was inches away from connecting with a near post cross which eventually drifted narrowly wide of Harrison's far post.

TNS were struggling for a foothold in the game, but they were nearly on level terms after 23 minutes when Declan McManus was tee'd up by Routledge and his wicked swerving effort nearly decieved Harri Lloyd in the Bala goal, the Lakesiders stopper beating it away in unorthodox fashion before Bala scrambled clear.

At the other end, the hosts missed a great chance to level just before the half time whistle when a lovely raking pass from Jordan Williams split the Bala defence in two giving Danny Davies a clear run at goal, but the TNS man saw his shot saved at the near post by Lloyd.

Just before the hour mark Bala missed a glorious chance to make it 2-0. Venables again pounced on a loose ball on the left and played the ball square to Paul Rutherford in acres of space, who almost had too much time to think about it, but Harrison did well to close the angle as he dithered and the chance was snuffed out. It was to prove costly.

The home side turned to veteran winger Adrian Cieslewicz to rescue the situation for them as he has done so often, and as the visitors tired the Saints began to turn the screw. 

With time ticking away it looked as though it was going to take something exceptional to break down a stubborn Bala defence, but just as they looked as though they might run out of ways to pick the lock of the Lakesiders' back four, Ryan Brobbel popped up ten minutes from time to lash a 25 yard strike into the top corner and earn a point for the league leaders. 

And Brobbel wasn't quite finished there as the game reached a frantic conclusion, Davies crossing from the left flank to find the TNS livewire unmarked at the far post to send Park Hall into raptures.


Referee: John Jones

Yellow: 44' Baker(TNS) (foul), 49 Routledge (TNS) (Dissent), 90 Astles (TNS) (Dissent)

TNS: Harrison, Marriott, Astles, Routledge, Brobbel, McManus, Redmond, Williams, Clark(Robles 72), Davies, Baker(Cieslewicz 60)
Subs: Parry, Ebbe, Smith, Daykin, Holland

Bala: Lloyd, Smith, Peate, Stephens, Mendes, Smith, Rutherford(Walker-Rice 90), Edwards(Shannon 63), Bauress(Sang 85), Southern, Venables 
Subs: Ramsay, Leslie, Shannon