BROOKS FIRES PTT LEVEL BUT SAINTS ARE TOO STRONG FOR STEELMEN
David Brooks scored his first goal of the season for the Blues (Gareth Elms).
THE New Saints recorded a 3-1 victory at the GenQuip Stadium on Sunday as second-half strikes from Kai Edwards and Sam Finley saw the visitors notch a sixth-straight win.
David Brooks marked his return to the Port Talbot side by firing home a first-half penalty as the Steelmen pegged back TNS – before the league leaders wrestled back control of the game with a convincing second-half display.
The result leaves the Steelmen winless in seven but first-team coach Marc Cahill believes there were positives to be taken from the game, despite individual errors proving costly.
“I think the lads are putting in the effort and they haven’t had the rub of the green when we come up against quality opposition like we have today,” he explained post-match. “We’ve given them the first goal, they’ve then scored from a set-piece, which is sloppy on our behalf, and the lad has gone and hit a worldy for the third. We’ve come up against a bunch of professional players and in patches we more than held our own.”
Brooks – one of three changes to the Town line-up – was pulled back by Alex Darlington, as he burst through into the TNS goalmouth, after latching onto Martin Roses’ defence-splitting pass.
Rose did well to turn into space and charge up-field before threading the ball wide into the path of Brooks, as Port Talbot’s counter-attacking game plan paid dividends. The Town winger then sent Saints keeper Paul Harrison the wrong way to restore parity from the penalty spot on the half hour.
The hosts were forced to absorb pressure for lengthy spells against a well-organised TNS outfit and Sam Finley fired Scott Young’s side an early warning when his dipping effort bounced off the crossbar inside the seventh-minute.
Port Talbot were then let off the hook when Darlington sent the ball back from near the touchline but found Chris Marriott off-balance, as he skewed an effort off-target.
Mike Wilde punished the Port Talbot defence as he pounced on a lapse in concentration from Leigh De-Vulgt, to steer The Saints into a 22nd-minute lead.
But the lead was short-lived as Brooks bagged his first goal of the season to send Port Talbot in level at the break.
Port Talbot looked to extend the defensive discipline into the second-half, but The Saints regained the lead as Chris Seargeant’s corner was cut-back by Wilde, for central defender Kai Edwards to stab the ball home.
Six-minutes later, Sam Finley added a third with a classy angled drive from the edge of the area as the Owestry side eased themselves into a 3-1 lead.
And The Saints rarely looked troubled after forging a two-goal advantage and effectively dominated proceedings until Andy Harms called time on a one-sided second period.
Port Talbot now travel to gap Connah’s Quay next Saturday.
Port Talbot Town 1 David Brooks 30′
The New Saints FC 3 Mike Wilde 22′ Kai Edwards 57′ Sam Finley 63′
Port Talbot Town 29. Steven Hall, 6. Gethin Jones, 12. Leigh De Vulgt, 5. Lee Surman, 3. James Bloom, 10. Carl Payne, 4. Ashley Evans, 14. Sacha Walters, 11. Lee John (26. Rhys Griffiths 76′), 39. David Brooks (8. Lewis Harling 63′), 9. Martin Rose (18. Adam Wright 76′) Subs not used: 7. Chad Bond.
Red Cards: None
Yellow Cards: Brooks 31′ Rose 61′ Evans 83′
The New Saints FC 1. Paul Harrison, 2. Simon Spender, 3. Chris Marriott, 4. Phil Baker (16. Connell Rawlinson 50′), 6. Kai Edwards, 20. Alex Darlington (11. Ryan Fraughan 72′), 21. Chris Jones, 18. Mike Wilde, 8. Sam Finley, 23. Aeron Edwards, 12. Christian Seargeant
Red Cards: None
Yellow Cards: Darlington 29′
Attendance: 207 Referee: Andy Harms
All images courtesy of Gareth Elms