Kick off:14:30 Thursday, 26 Dec 2013
at Latham Park, Newtown
Fixture Type: Welsh Premier League
Referee: Nick Pratt
The New Saints were beaten one nil at Latham Park in the Corbett Sports Welsh Premier League. Sean Evans scored the only goal of the game on 48 minutes.
After only one minute of the match, Ryan Fraughan curled a superb effort against the bottom of the post. The winger cut in from the right and was desperately unlucky to watch his shot come back off the upright and land in Michael Platt's hands.
TNS continued to push forward with both Aeron Edwards and Mike Wilde smashing efforts over the bar from inside the box, with the state of the Latham Park pitch ensuring that it was difficult to play free flowing football.
Soon after, Newtown were forced into some excellent last ditch defending and it was Tom Goodwin who finally cleared the danger with a great defensive header, after a brilliant cross from Sam Finley had looked destined to find Wilde at the back post.
On the stroke of half time, Craig Williams hit a powerful free kick over for the home side and seconds later, the referee blew the half time whistle, bringing an uneventful first 45 minutes of football to an end.
TNS kicked off the second half and within seconds, Finley nearly broke the deadlock. The former Warrington man found space in the box but despite poking his shot towards the far post, Platt was able to get down low and keep it out.
A minute later and the deadlock was broken. However, it was broken by Newtown's Evans who raced clear from the TNS defence, before smashing an unstoppable shot past Paul Harrison, which sent the home fans wild.
The home side looked rampant and soon after Chris Hughes' men amazingly hit the ball against the bar two times in a row. Firstly captain Andy Jones powered a header past Harrison and the rebound was met by Luke Boundford, who also managed to hit the bar with an acrobatic volley.
With an hour gone, Harrison kept his side in it as he denied Jones with a superb save down to his right and from the resulting corner, Goodwin headed over a great opportunity to double the lead for his team.
Craig Harrison sent Matty Williams, Greg Draper and Jamie Mullan on as he looked for an equaliser but despite The Saints throwing everything at the hosts, the Champions couldn't find a way through Newtown's stubborn defence.
With only two minutes left, Finley won a free kick for his side on the edge of the box. Chris Marriott stepped up but was thwarted by a magnificent stop from the diving Platt.
Deep into stoppage time, Williams had a header which Platt once again kept out as Newtown held on to claim all three points.