Allen's spot on as Airbus draw with The New Saints

Reporter:

Tom Norris

Craig Harrison praised the match officials after his Airbus side grabbed a 2-2 home draw with champions The New Saints.

Having seen a Nick Rushton goal scrubbed off for a foul, the Wingmakers' got their just reward for a battling display as Mark Allen converted a late spot kick.

Carl Owen was felled in the area with two minutes remaining and although referee Kevin Parry waved play on an assistant had seen an infringement and awarded the penalty.

Allen duly thumped the ball home, leaving Harrison delighted, he said: “I didn't see the incident but I have been told that it was a penalty by the camera crew.

“I have also been told that the goal we had disallowed was a blatant push so I except that.

“The referee didn't see the penalty but the linesman obviously did, whatever way they have come about the decision, it was the right one.”

The New Saints boss Mike Davies had a different view on proceedings, laying the blame at the door of the referee.

“The referees killed us, it was a shocking performance, Im very disappointed and its cost us again,” he blasted.

“I just dont think it was a penalty - the lads are adamant it wasn't - and not just that, but a whole host of decisions right through the game.

“The leagues getting a lot better but the refs need to take some responsibility as well.

“I know a lot of the refs and get on with a lot of them as well but they keep costing us and costing us.”

The late controversy detracted from what was an intriguing contest, Airbus successfully subduing the attacking instinct of the visitors for long periods.

A cautious opening 40 minutes was brought to life as Saints' broke the deadlock through Matty Williams, the striker reacting quickest to a spill from Airbus goalkeeper Kristian Rogers to slot home.

However, Airbus rallied and grabbed an equaliser from the unlikeliest of sources, Danny Holmes attempted clearance after a neat passage of play from the hosts ricocheted off former Wales and Wrexham defender Steve Evans and passed a helpless Paul Harrison.

After the interval Saints' pressed without ever looking likely to break down Airbus until a moment of magic by ex-Chester winger Richie Partridge, who curled a sublime effort past Rogers under the watchful eyes of brother in-law and best mate Michael Owen.

Once again Airbus responded in positive fashion, Rushton seeing his goal chalked off after a push before Owen was brought down and Allen fired home.

The away side pressed hard to get a third goal, but Airbus held firm to earn a deserved point in front of a near 400 strong crowd, including a vocal home following.

"You have got to be pleased," explained Harrison. "Whatever we got was always going to be valuable after the Bangor match and after their European campaign.

"We gave ourselves a chance by keeping in the game, something we didn't do against Bangor.

"Credit to everyone for the hard work they put in, the players, the fans, who were brilliant and people like Tommo (Andrew Thomas), Stewart Roberts, Lee Starkey, Dave Riley, Chris Doran and Jamie Smith.”

Bala Town are finally up and running thanks to John Irving's stoppage time winner at home to Prestatyn Town.

Ex-Chester FC striker Josh Macauley continued his superb start to life in the Welsh Premier with the opener after 30 minutes, although Prestatyn hitman Lee Hunt levelled matters with a penalty.

Colin Caton's men were not to be denied however, former Everton youth Irving marking his birthday with a winner in the 93rd minute.

Bangor City maintained their perfect start to the season, moving eight points clear at the top with a 2-1 success at Port Talbot.

Nev Powell's men had to do it the hard way though as Lee John struck after eight minutes for the home side.

Bangor responded in typical fashion, Eddie Jebb volleying past Lee Kendall from 25-yards after a corner had only been partially cleared.

The game remained in the balance as both teams had chances to take the lead, but Bangor got their noses in front as Jamie Reed collected Jamie Brewerton's flick and fired home.

The hosts came close to levelling, but Craig Jones hit the crossbar as Powell's side held on.

Aberystwyth Town and visiting Neath played out a 1-1 draw, Chris Jones levelling after Luke Sherbon had opened the scoring for the hosts.

Carmarthen twice came from behind to draw 2-2 at home to Haverfordwest, Nick Harrhy and Andrew Evans cancelling out goals from Danny Thomas and Neil Thomas.

Llanelli left it late as they moved level on points with four placed Aberystwyth courtesy of a 2-1 home win over Newtown.

On-loan TNS striker Craig Whitfield put Newtown in front before Wyn Thomas and Rhys Griffiths turned the game around.

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