Another home game unbeaten, this time it was Connahs Quay Nomads who visited Latham Park seeking for a win and going away disappointed. It was the Deesiders who struck first however in the early stages of the game. with Declan Poole sliding the ball past Dave Jones on the second minute. Wilson, Kenny and Poole all linked well through the middle of the park before Kenny played a through ball to Poole who finished. The first half was very scrappy in parts and saw the visitors enjoy most of the possession. Rob Hughes threatened soon after with a curling cross which ended up on the roof of the net, Connahs Quay grew in confidence as the first came to close.
However the second half was a different story for the Robins. Early spells of possession caused problems for Connahs Quay as the ball was played down either wing with Williams and Roberts driving forward when possible. Connahs Quay had a goal ruled out for offside on 48 minutes as Jack Kenny ran onto a Danny Holmes cross.
On the 55th Minute, Nick Rushton was played through on goal by Jay Denny but the threat was dealt with by Michael Parker with a strong sliding tackle. Newtown started to press the visitors well into their own half as the search for an equaliser continued. Fletcher and Denny exchanged neat quick passes through middle looking to break down the Connahs Quay defence. Just over the hour mark on 62 minutes, the home side equalised. Luke Boundford curled a shot from the right side of the 18-yard box towards the back post, the ball hit the post and bounced into the run of Joe Kenton wo was brought down mid stride. Referee Bryn Markham-Jones pointed to the spot. Nick Rushton stepped up and smashed his effort to the keeper right into the net.
Immediately after, Danny Holmes was shown a red card for dissent. With 10-men, Connahs Quay had to re-shape and Newtown attacked in search of a winner. The visitors sat back looking to counter but the home side enjoyed a large period of possession, much better showing than the first half.
Late on, Neil Mitchell had fizzed a ball low and hard from the left wing into the box which deflected into the back of the net, however the goal was ruled out due to Mitchell being offside initially. There was 4 minutes added on at the end and Newtown dominated the final exchanges of the game. The final chance came from Ethan Jones bursting down the left hand side into the box and striking the ball into the side netting.
With the top six wide open, it was the perfect chance to gain three points against Llanelli, who sit bottom of the league.
We went into the game off the back of an unbeaten run at home and the result ensured the record is kept. Town looked lively from the start with high tempo passing and pressing every LLanelli touch.
The deadlock was broken on 8 minutes as Neil Mitchell scores from close range. The home side pressed for a second soon after and controlling possession. The second goal came on 27 minutes when Luke Boundford placed a Callum Roberts low cross into the bottom right corner of the visitors goal.
The left wing seemed to be the focus of attacks for Newtown as Roberts threatened often in the first half an hour. A Roberts cross was curled in for Luke Boundford only to be denied by the Llanelli keeper. The resulting corner saw Boundford get his second of the game with another trademark header to make it 3-0 on 32 minutes. Two minutes later after clever interplay through the middle between Leslie and Ruston allows Ruston to run in behind and slot the fourth for the Robins. The Robins continued to press and cause problems for the visitors and on the 40th minute the fifth of the game came in in great fashion with a strike from 25-yards into the top right corner by Nick Rushton.
The second half started in similar fashion as the first with a flourish of chances from Mitchell, Boundford and Rushton. Llanelli struggled to cope with the numbers driving forward, especially from Roberts and Williams from the fullback positions. The sixth goal came on the hour mark as Steve Leslie ran inside from the left into the box slipping past 3 defenders before calmly slotting the ball into the far right corner. The game looked comfortable for Newtown until Llanelli scored a consolation goal after a lapse in concentration. Craig Williams headed the ball into the path of Curtis March who capatalised and slid it passed Dave Jones.
The game was finished off by Ben Bailey who scored his first goal of the season with a header from a looping cross from Steve Leslie.
Newtown AFC 1-1 The New Saints
The Robins hold on to pick up a home draw against the Welsh Premier League champions, The New Saints at Latham Park in the JD Welsh Premier League.
It ended one a piece with Newtown’s Ethan Jones opening the scoring after ten minutes.
TNS’s Greg Draper equalised with a second half penalty to end the match at 1-1.
In the last couple of minutes of Saturday’s match, TNS were down to 10 men after Jon Routledge was given a second yellow card after booting the ball away when Newtown were awarded a free kick.
The opening minutes saw the visitors look on top with their controlled possession when slowly making their first attack towards Newtown’s goal.
There were a couple of glimpses of TNS’s Greg Draper finding space in the danger area catching the Robins defence off guard.
Possession was on Saints’ side but the only real stat that really matters is goals and the Robins opened the scoring on the 10th minute mark thanks to Ethan Jones.
Jones went solo into the Saints’ penalty area with a cool and collective approach to slot home the opener and to seal his first goal of the season.
It wasn’t long until the visitors made a response to going a goal down.
A long range shot going wide from Jon Routledge on the 13th minute started TNS’s real attack.
Newtown had golden opportunities in the first 45 starting with Callum Roberts’ dangerous delivery into the box was mis-kicked by Jones who could have had his second of the game.
Another chance to double the lead struck 60 seconds later after a long throw in from Alex Fletcher had Luke Boundford miss from close range.
Draper was yet again causing problems especially half an hour in when the New Zealander struck his low shot straight at Dave Jones but the reds goalkeeper made sure the Kiwi did not score from the rebound.
5 minutes before the interval saw Newtown’s corner from Fletcher converted from Ben Bailey with his header going just wide past the far post.
Newtown went into the changing room at half time 1-0 up.
The second half hosted a determined Saints team who were eager to find an equaliser.
12 minutes after the halftime break, Kurtis Byrne produced a fast paced cross that scattered all over the Newtown box before Jones picked up the loose ball.
After the hour mark TNS attacked again with Ryan Brobbel delivering a perfect cross to Draper who headed the ball straight to the hands of Jones.
Newtown spent most of the second half on the back foot but their determination to avoid defeat was first class.
But their Jones’ clean sheet would fly away for the day after Kieran Mills-Evans took down Draper to give away a penalty which was then scored by the New Zealander after 75 minutes.
It could have been a penalty on the other side of the pitch for the Robins when Roberts was taken down in the TNS box but the referee refused and instead gave a goal kick to the visitors.
One point for both teams in the JD Welsh Premier League now puts Newtown in 4th after starting the day in 5th place.
Our next match in the division is away to Cefn Druids on Friday November 2nd (KO 19:45) but firstly will be Tuesday’s League Cup trip to Cambrian & Clydach (KO 19:45).
Post-match interview with Chris Hughes
The Robins: D.Jones (GK), Kenton, Roberts,Mills-Evans, Bailey,Denny,Fletcher, Mitchell, Boundford, E.Jones,Rushton.
Subs: Phillips, Perry, Goodwin, Leslie,W.Evans, Cook.
Goals: E. Jones (10′)
The New Saints: P. Harrison (GK), S. Spender, C. Marriott, B. Cabango, J. Nembhard, T. Holland, J. Routledge, R. Brobbel, D. Redmond, K. Byrne, G. Draper.
Subs: C. Roberts (GK), D. Ebbe, A. Edwards, K. Lewis, C. Seargeant, B. Clark, J. Hmani.
Goals: G. Draper (Pen 75′)
Match report by Jamie Davies
Two injury time goals in each half from Joe Kenton fired Newtown up to third in the JD Welsh Premier League.
Both sides were looking for a win to take them within a few points of the summit, and it was Newtown who prevailed in a tight affair.
Joe Kenton capitalised on a defensive blunder on half time to volley home, before the striker broke in second half stoppage time to secure the victory.
Sam Phillips was given his first start since the opening day, as Chris Hughes made one change with Steve Leslie dropping to the bench.
It was billed to be an entertaining clash with both sides among the in form outfits in the league.
The sides were trying to play attractive stuff from the off, with the visitors retaining the ball better in the opening ten minutes.
The first chance fell to the Robins, as Mike Lewis denied Ben Bailey his first Robins goal when he tipped over his goal bound header from a Craig Williams corner.
The chance led to Newtown having a spell on the front foot as Nick Rushton had a shot blocked, with Kenton inches away from getting on the end of a Phillips toe poked cross.
Both sides were enjoying spells of possession, but were cancelling each other out with Dave Jones hardly tested in the home goal.
Ten minutes before the break the Robins were handed a chance on a plate to take the lead, but the play was pulled back in strange fashion.
Lewis’ goal kick was short and Rushton intercepted with a defender getting back to clear for a corner.
However referee Kevin Parry pulled it back for an apparent rolling ball on the goal kick, to the disgust of the Robins bench.
Neil Mitchell, fresh on the back of his 200th Robins WPL appearance and player of the month nomination tested Lewis, but it was Barry who had the best chance late in the half.
A through ball caught Newtown cold with Drew Fahiya running through, but the winger’s last touch was too heavy and Jones smothered the danger.
Just as it looked as if the half was petering out, the Robins broke from a Barry corner and grabbed a half time advantage.
A corner was cleared and a ball pumped forward, and as Lewis misjudged the bounce Kenton capitalised and lobbed the keeper to give his side the lead.
Fahiya went close twice early in the second period, the second time blazing over from a good position in the area.
Hughes then introduced Leslie from the bench, and he went close soon after coming on as he had a volley blocked, before firing one over.
Barry were beginning to build up some momentum as they searched for a leveler and were inches from getting one 15 minutes from time.
Momodou Touray’s cross almost found Kane McLaggon but Jones raced off his line to scupper the chance.
Then almost immediately Newtown nearly added a second, but Mitchell headed Callum Roberts’ cross over the bar.
Barry continued to press, but Newtown’s rearguard held as firm as they have all season.
And in the 92nd minute they snuffed out an attack and allowed the attacking players to secure the game.
Leslie found Kenton who drove into the box, before smashing the ball beyond Lewis and in to make it four wins in four and send Newtown into the top three.
A first half penalty helped Newtown get through a tricky second round tie against a plucky Penybont outfit.
Ethan Jones missed a penalty before tapping home the re-bound to give the Robins a half time lead.
In the second period Newtown failed to put the game to bed, and the visitors went close to levelling late on but Newtown hung on.
Chris Hughes opted to mix his squad up for their second game in four days, and ahead of a long trip down to Llanelli on Friday night.
Dave Jones, Ben Bailey, Neil Mitchell, Steve Leslie and Nick Rushton were all rested, as Jojo Harries, Jack Perry, and Tom Goodwin were handed their first starts.
Jones and Sam Phillips were also recalled to the first 11.
Newtown began brighter against their inform Welsh League opposition, with Alex Fletcher volleying wide from a tight angle in the opening moments.
It was clear they would have the majority of the early possession, as Penybont were willing to sit in and soak up the pressure.
And they did that with success early on, as the Robins failed to any joy when pressing for that final killer pass.
Despite the lack of possession, Penybont had the first quality opening but they failed to capitalise on a Robins error.
Phillips conceded possession and a through ball saw Marcus Griffiths go one on one, but he failed to get a shot off.
Almost immediately Jones went close at the other end as Fletcher found him in the box, but Rhys Wilson palmed is effort over.
From the resulting corner the Robins did take the lead as Jay Denny’s header came off an arm, and the referee pointed to the spot.
Jones’ firm penalty was saved by Wilson, but came back to the forward who tapped the ball home.
Newtown went after a second with Phillips looking very lively in the middle of the mark, however they were just struggling to find that defence splitting ball.
A superb ball five minutes before the break from Phillips almost found Luke Boundford, but Kane Owen scrambled back to make a vital interception.
Penybont went close to an early equaliser in the second period, but a dangerous cross was cleared at the last second.
Then Newtown should have been two ahead as Jones had a shot blocked, before a Steve Leslie through ball sent the striker clear, and he cut inside only to be denied by Wilson.
With the game still at 1-0 Penybont were still in the game, and they had a penalty shout turned away.
They were beginning to ramp up the pressure just after the hour mark and getting into good areas but failing to find an end product.
The Robins were inches from wrapping the game up 20 minutes from time as a cross fell to Leslie, but his goalbound effort was hooked off the line.
Then seconds later Nick Rushton’s cross found Phillips, however he could only loop a header over.
Penybont were still coming forward as Curtis Hutson lashed high and wide, before a fierce Luke Borrelli drive was held by Jack Perry.
The went even closer with five minutes to go as Perry had to be alert to tip over a smart flick from Borrelli.
Late on Owen saw a free kick deflected as the Robins held on to secure their route to round three.
Two long range strikes in two first half minutes saw Newtown get back to winning ways and record their third home win on the bounce.
They made it hard for themselves though and fell behind early on as Sam Snaith glanced home a free kick after his 13 minutes.
But Alex Fletcher’s long range effort squirmed through the goalkeepers legs, before Neil Mitchell rifled in a belter two minutes later.
After two defeats on the bounce Chris Hughes made just one change as Luke Boundford came in for his first start of the campaign, replacing Joe Kenton.
Last week it was a horror show as the Robins conceded inside 52 seconds, and it didn’t take much longer for Met to go close in this one.
A cross went through the crowded box to Joel Edwards after just two minutes, but the defender blazed over.
The Robins were enjoying good patches of possession, but it was Met who looked the sharper going forward.
Elliot Evans found himself free in the box, but his deflected effort was tipped wide by Dave Jones.
Then the home stopper produced a top class save to deny a Will Evans volley from point blank range, with Sam Snaith blasting over the re-bound.
However Met were building up ahead of steam and did get their noses in front on 13 minutes.
Evans’ in swinging free kick was glanced in off the post by Snaith, for what was the first time the Robins had conceded at home this season.
It almost got worse five minutes later, but luckily Evans’ free kick went just over the Robins crossbar.
The dangerous Evans fired over again, before Newtown had their first sight of goal as Callum Roberts fired a set piece over the bar.
Then in two mad minutes, after hardly having a glimpse of a chance the Robins turned things right around.
They can count themselves quite fortunate with the first, as Fletcher’s long range effort from distance went straight through the legs of goalkeeper Esa Aalto.
Then with the next attack on 37 minutes Mitchell galloped forward and fire a rocket shot into the corner from distance, and this time Aalto could do nothing about it.
Fletcher’s dangerous cross nearly led to a third at the start of the second half, before the tide began to turn back in Met’s favour.
They were enjoying dangerous spells, and had a handball shout waved away.
Then from a left sided cross, Jones produced his second top save of the afternoon to deny a goal bound Emlyn Lewis header.
Mitchell had a speculative effort fly over, before he was unlucky not to be awarded a penalty after beating two men and going down in the box.
Then with just over ten minutes to go Met should have been level.
A cross found Chris Baker free in the box and he had time to turn and shoot from 12 yards, however he lacked composure and blazed over.
Will Evans then curled an effort over as the game crept towards stoppage time with the Robins lead still in tact.
But the Robins held firm, and good game management saw them see it out for the victory.