TNS RE­WRITE HIS­TORY OF CRUYFF’S AJAX

The Non-League Football Paper - - RESULTS SERVICE - By Chris Smart

CRAIG HAR­RI­SON talked am­bi­tiously about plans for the fu­ture af­ter guid­ing The New Saints into the Guin­ness

Book of Records with a breath­tak­ing run of 27 com­pet­i­tive vic­to­ries.

A 2-0 Fri­day night win at the Rock Sta­dium over bat­tling Cefn Druids took them past the pre­vi­ous record of 26 suc­cesses on the bounce of Jo­han­nCruyff’s bril­liant Ajax side of the 1971-72 sea­son, which in­cluded such stars as Jonnny Rep and Jo­hann Neeskens.

But Har­ri­son, who has been in charge at Park Hall for five years and has been linked re­cently with other clubs such as Na­tional League side Wrexham, has no in­ten­tion of stop­ping there.

He said: “I am very happy at TNS and we have our eyes on four com­pe­ti­tions this sea­son – the League, League Cup,Welsh Cup and IRNBru Scot­tish com­pe­ti­tion. It would be fan­tas­tic to go through the sea­son with a 100 per cent record, but to use an old cliché we will take ev­ery game as it comes.

“It would be fan­tas­tic for us to make the knock­out stages of a Euro­pean com­pe­ti­tion, such as the Europa League or Cham­pi­ons League. That would be real progress. Just look at what Dun­dalk and Sham­rock Rovers have done.”

TNS are 21 points clear of Gap Con­nahs Quay at the top of the Welsh Pre­mier League and could have their ti­tle de­fence wrapped up by the end of Fe­bru­ary.

Har­ri­son paid a glow­ing trib­ute to TNS owner and chair­man Mike Har­ris, who he de­scribed as “a real vi­sion­ary”.

He added: “Mike just loves the club. He led the move to­wards 3G pitches and is so en­thu­si­as­tic about ev­ery­thing TNS.”

Har­ris said: “To put a run to­gether like ours is nigh im­pos­si­ble. Some of the great sides like Rangers, Celtic, Barcelona, Real Madrid and Manch­ester United have not done that.”

The last time TNS failed to win a game was back in July in the Cham­pi­ons League, and since then have won 21 League matches,two in the IRN Bru Cup, three in the League Cup and one in the Welsh Cup.

Cefn Druids made the Oswestry-based team fight for the record how­ever – they held them for 35 min­utes be­fore Aaron Ed­wards volleyed the ball home from close range.

TNS were still not able to re­lax and the sta­dium was filled with ten­sion as the cham­pi­ons searched for a sec­ond goal to make them more com­fort­able.

It was only with four min­utes re­main­ing that they made it 2-0 when Jon Rout­ledge net­ted with a 25-yard pile-driver. That is how it stayed and TNS were the record-break­ers. Cham­pagne corks popped but yes­ter­day it was down to earth again as the next stage in a re­mark­able story was planned.

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