The New Saints (TNS) FC celebrated their 1000th game in style as an 89th minute winning goal from Ryan Astles secured a 2-1 victory over Bala Town at Park Hall on Monday. The victory leaves them one point away from winning the JD Cymru Premier, meaning they can secure the title when they travel to fierce rivals Connah’s Quay on Friday night.
An even first half saw the sides go in level as Ryan Brobbel gave TNS the lead on 28 minutes, before Bala immediately struck back two minutes later with a goal from Nathan Peate. But as the game looked like ending in a draw, Ryan Astles delighted the Park Hall faithful with volley from the edge of the box, which found the back of the net, sparking jubilant celebrations on and off the pitch.
Ahead of the match, TNS’ Euan Harris and Ian Williams were presented with a plaque by Ken Hughes from FA Wales (FAW), as they became only the third club in the Welsh domestic game to reach the landmark.
TNS are now on the brink of a 15th league title win and will hope to have the trophy in their clutches on Friday night as they look for another positive result.
Speaking after the game TNS Assistant Manager Craig Harrison, said:
“First half was a little bit frustrating in terms of decision making and sustaining the pressure. I felt we got into good positions, but we let them out of jail. The second was a completely dominant performance, I thought we were absolutely brilliant.”
TNS match winner Ryan Astles said:
“I think in the end it was a deserved three points, in the first half we were a bit sloppy. Obviously, we got the first goal, which we should have built on but we gave them a sloppy goal to let them back into the game. I think overall I thought we were better in the second half and deserved to win. Tonight was all about the three points, it puts us in a great position, so it’s a good win, we move onto Friday now. We want the league won now, we’ll hopefully go there and get three points, but if not make sure we get the point that wins us the league.”