Airbus v TNS

THE Wingmakers hit the top of the Welsh Premier table with a thrilling 2-1 home win in front of a record crowd of 452 at The Airfield.

A headed goal in each half from Chris Budrys sealed the points against a Saints' side that dominated much of the play but paid the price for wasting chances, especially in the first half.

Both Wayne Riley and Steve Abbott went close for Airbus in the early exchanges but, at the other end, Ryan Fraughan whipped in a great ball for Sam Finley running into the area and, moments later, Fraughan dribbled at the Airbus defence but his shot was turned away. From the corner, Chris Jones went close for TNS.

Both sides played good football in the opening 25 minutes with neither team shading it. However, on 27 minutes  a low strike from Alex Darlington clipped the outside of the far post for TNS before the Wingmakers broke the deadlock on 29 minutes as Budrys nodded home Wayne Riley’s cross at the near-post to make it 1-0 to Airbus.

Fraughan blazed over for the visitors on 33 minutes as TNS tried to regain their composure. 

Minutes before half-time Mike Wilde also scooped a shot over for TNS in what had developed into a tight game. The Saints' Phil Baker then went into the book for a pull on Jordan Johnson and it remained 1-0 at the interval.

On 49 minutes Aeron Edwards was played in to the edge of the area and slotted the ball past Ben Chapman to level the scores and the Saints began to dominate possession.

But Ian Kearney glanced a header wide from a corner after Airbus had a spell defending strongly. 

On 63 minutes the Wingmakers made a double change with Mike Roddy being replaced with Glenn Rule and Steve Abbott being replaced with Mark Cadwallader.

It was slightly against the run of play when the Wingmakers regained the lead from a corner, headed home powerfully by Budrys on 65 minutes. Airbus had a 2-1 lead and were 25 minutes from replacing their visitors at the top of the league.

Into the last 20 minutes Budrys saw a shot roll narrowly past the far post with the Wingmakers' belief growing by the minute. The visitors made their first change with just over quarter of an hour to go with Greg Draper replacing Darlington and Draper had a chance soon after entering the play but it was deflected over.

The Saints mounted a strong finish as the four minutes of added time extended into nearly six but, despite having claims for a penalty in a final attack, they were unable to force an equaliser.

Ultimately Airbus deserved their win and thoroughly deserved their place at the top of the Welsh Premier League.

by Rory Sheehan

Below: Budrys heads his first goal past TNS keeper Paul Harrison.