The New Saints wrapped up their thirteenth JD Welsh Premier League title, their eighth in a row, with the 4-0 win at Barry Town United over the weekend. Here we look at five key games for Scott Ruscoe’s side on their way to the crown.
Matchday 2 – Connah's Quay Nomads 1-0 Saints
Having started the season with a comprehensive 5-1 victory against Barry, Saints travelled to Connah's Quay on the back of a midweek European trip to FC Midtyjlland. Andy Owens' early second half strike was the difference for Andy Morrison's side, who handed Saints only their second loss of 2018.
Matchday 8 - Cardiff Met 4-1 Saints
Following a frustrating goalless draw at Bala Town in their previous league fixture, Saints headed to Cyncoed to face Cardiff Met, who had begun their league campaign in indifferent form. Saints came into the game having kept five consecutive clean sheets, however two goals in either half from the Archers handed Saints a second defeat of the season, and they ended the weekend in second place, two points adrift of Connah's Quay. It was a sign that the Champions weren't necessarily going to have an easy ride if they wanted to regain their title, however they responded well to the setback, winning their next three on the bounce, culminating in a 3-0 win over Nomads on MD11.
Matchday 18 - Llandudno 0-4 Saints
A run of one league win in six after that win though had left Saints trailing Nomads by five points as they headed into MD18 and a trip to face bottom side Llandudno. Consecutive 1-1 draws against Cardiff Met and Bala in their previous outings meant they were desperate to get back to winning ways, and three points is what they got as they cruised to a routine 4-0 victory. Ruscoe's side never looked back from this moment on, dropping only two points from their next seven matches ahead of a crunch clash on MD27.
Matchday 27 - Connah's Quay Nomads 0-2 Saints
Saints' trip to Connah's Quay in early March was being tipped as a potential league decider, with TNS looking for a win which would put them back on top of the table. They came into the game in good form, having dropped only two points since the turn of the year and having conceded only two goals in that time, and they didn't disappoint here. Aeron Edwards opened the scoring on 14 minutes, with Ryan Brobbel adding a second late on as Saints leapfrogged their opponents to lead the way with six games to go.
Matchday 30 – Barry Town United 0-4 Saints
Saints' incredible run of ten victories in eleven had given them breathing space at the top. They travelled to Jenner Park last weekend knowing that three points would see them confirmed as champions, three points is what they got as they cruised to a 4-0 victory over the Linnets. Greg Draper opened the scoring on seven minutes, with second half goals from Jamie Mullan, Edwards and Jon Routledge adding the icing on the cake for the Saints, who’s championship winning streak stretches to eight.
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