Over to you, Jeff

Four days after being dumped out of the Cup against Bangor City, we dust ourselves off and travel to Bridge Meadow Stadium to take on fifth-placed Haverfordwest County for our first chance to win the league. The bookies believe that we’ll do it as we’re 4/6 favourites. I make 11 changes from the Cup defeat, so the same 11 who started our last league match against Airbus UK Broughton get the chance to wrap things up – this results in Jan Sebek making his 25th career league appearance (and 25th league appearance for TNS). We might be away, but I tell the lads to do it for the 321 fans in attendance.

As with our last league match, there’s an early goal. Two minutes. But it’s against us; there’s a scramble in the area following a corner and McCulley is on hand to poke it home from 6 yards. It seems to spur us on as two minutes later, Darren Otten shoots over from 20 yards before shooting wide from a similar distance in the 10th minute. Wayne Carlisle has a go in the 12th minute and he sees his shot turned around the post for a corner. We’re piling on the pressure and it tells in the 18th minute when Kofi Poyser crosses from the right and Scott McBride taps into an empty net at the far post from 4 yards out for his second goal of the season. It’s Haverfordwest’s turn to be spurred on as Rose-Miles shoots straight at Sebek from 20 yards. Conor Hourihane unleashes another long range missile in the 24th minute, but sees his 20 yard shot beaten away by the keeper. In the 30th minute, a 25 yard shot from Evans beats Sebek, but it hits the post and we clear it for a throw. In the 33rd minute, Darren Otten takes a free kick from the left and finds David Nixon unmarked at the far post – he lashes into the roof of the net from 5 yards out for his first ever TNS goal and to put us into the lead. Goals are like buses and another one soon comes along in the 39th minute. Marco Pelosi takes a free kick from the left and Steven Smith heads home from 8 yards for his first ever goal for the club. The two goal lead nearly becomes a one goal lead in the 43rd minute when a header from Evans at the far post is cleared off the line by Joseph Oastler. A minute later, Poyser shoots tamely at the keeper from 18 yards.

The second half sees the first chance fall to us in the 51st minute when McBride crosses from the left and finds Carlisle unmarked at the far post. He heads from 8 yards and… puts it wide! That would have definitely wrapped the points and league up. The game starts to fizzle out, although Otten picks up a yellow card in the 78th minute. Poyser has a chance in the 84th minute, but his shot from 16 yards is tipped over by the keeper. The final chance falls to Roberts, but he shoots wide so he doesn’t set up a grand finale. Smith is named Man of the Match with a rating of 8.1 and a goal, but… WE’RE TOP BY 10 POINTS AND THE CHAMPIONS!!!! Winning the league also sees us break the points record, which had been held by Neath (65 points) and we still have three games to go. I think we all know what Jeff Stelling would say…


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