Welsh Premier League

The New Saints 3

Bala Town 1

A second-half Ryan Brobbel double fired The New Saints to a comeback win over Bala Town to return them to the Welsh Premier League summit.

Saints missed a first-half penalty after dominating but required two goals from the Northern Irishman and a customary Greg Draper finish after falling behind to a Stuart J Jones goal.

The win puts Saints a point ahead of title rivals Connah’s Quay Nomads with a game in hand.

The recalled Kurtis Byrne spurned a glorious chance to give Saints the lead on five minutes, but the Irish striker’s lifted finish from six yards was far too high.

Saints went a step closer to taking the lead on 15 minutes when Brobbel’s curled free-kick from 25 yards struck the outside of the left post.

Bala’s first sight of goal came on 25 minute when Paul Harrison tipped over visiting skipper Chris Venables’ fine effort from 20 yards.

Saints spurned their most glorious chance yet when Danny Redmond’s jinking run in the box led to a penalty on 36 minutes, which he stepped up to take but Ashley Morris saved.

The ball was partially cleared and Aaron Edwards’s fierce volley was cleared off the line.

Bala almost took the lead in first-half stoppage time but Mike Hayes only managed to curl his left-footed effort well wide.

Saints inability to convert their chances was punished on 55 minutes when Bala took the lead through Jones’s close-range effort.

But their lead only lasted for two minutes as Brobbel levelled matters with a firmly-struck free-kick that was helped past Morris via an opposition defender to steady home nerves.

The in-form midfielder added his and Saints’ second on 64 minutes when reacted first to Blaine Hudson’s knock down from Jamie Mullan’s cross and slotted home from close-range.

Draper all-but-secured all three points for Saints when he toe-poked home from around 12 yards out on 75 minutes, wrong-footing Morris in the process.

Saints continued to press for more goals in the dying moments but settled for a comfortable win.

TNS: Harrison, Lewis, Hudson, Bodenham, Marriott, Routledge, Redmond, Mullan, Brobbel, Edwards (Cieslewicz 72), Byrne (Draper 57)

Subs not used: Dutton, Nembhard, Ebbe, Holland