Kick off:14:30 Saturday, 25 Apr 2009
Fixture Type: Welsh Premier League
Referee: Dean John
The New Saints brought the curtain down on a generally disappointing season on Saturday with a 1-0 Welsh Premier League home win over Airbus UK Broughton at Park Hall. It was a somewhat typical low key end of season affair with few serious chances for either side to excite the 271 crowd.
Despite only finishing 3rd in the league (their first finish outside the top 2 in 8 years), Saints at least finished the season with the best defensive record having conceded only 27 goals, with champions Rhyl conceding 29. The first chance of any note came Saints' way in the 8th minute when a pass infield on the right by youngster Sean Jones found Ryan Marriott near the right corner of the box who took touch before having his left foot shot saved by Airbus keeper Phil Palethorpe. Then in the 20th minute a 20 yard free kick from Craig Williams near the right corner of the box was saved by Palethorpe to his left before another free kick from Williams on the right saw Craig Whitfield has his header saved by Palethorpe. Then in the 33rd minute Saints took the lead when Williams ran down the left and his deep cross to the far post saw Alex Darlington`s header from 5 yards hit Palethorpe before going into the corner of the net.
Then in the 41st minute, three of the quartet of Saints leaving combined for the next chance when Rob Williams fed Duane Courtney on the right whose cross was only half cleared to John Leah who took a touch to control before sending his left foot shot from outside the box wide of Palethorpe's right hand post. Then in the stoppage time at the end of the half Darlington fed Craig Williams down the right whose shot was beaten away by Palethorpe.
A rare chance came the visitors' way in the 54th minute when Ryan Edwards crossed low from the right and Phil Molyneux's shot from 6 yards was saved by Saints keeper Paul Harrison at the near post. Then at the other end 3 minutes later Marriott`s pass found Craig Whitfield on the left who dragged his shot from the front of the box across goal past the far post. After Mark Cadwallader had shot wide of Harrison's left hand post in the 64th minute, Craig Williams' low corner from the left in the 67th minute found Leah some 30 yards out and he took a touch before firing just wide of the keeper's right hand post. Just 30 seconds later at the other end, Airbus were unlucky not to equalise when Edwards fed Molyneux wide on the right whose pass infield found Ashley Williams who fired his shot against Harrison's left hand post when it seemed easier to score.
Then after 25 seconds of stoppage time at the end Airbus had a possible shot for a penalty when, after Edwards' cross from the right, sub Adam Davies went down under challenge but south Wales referee Dean John waved away their claims. Then deep into stoppage time Airbus' Ashley Williams fired not far over from 25 yards before in the last of the eventually 3 added minutes, Davies shot wide from the edge of the box.