Welsh Premier League: Champions New Saints equal Ajax world record

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The New Saints: Behind the scenes at the Welsh Premier League record breakers

Welsh Premier League champions The New Saints have equalled a 44-year-old world record after recording a 26th consecutive win.

Their 4-0 home win over Cefn Druids on Boxing Day saw them draw level with Ajax Amsterdam's record set in 1972.

TNS can eclipse the record set by Johan Cruyff's team if they beat Cefn Druids away on 30 December.

They have already established a Welsh Premier League record for consecutive wins, beating Bangor City's mark.

How they got here

Two goals by Adrian Cieslewicz and one-each for Alex Darlington and Greg Draper clinched win number 26 on Boxing Day.

Saints are 21 points clear at the top of the table and as the season reaches the halfway point are on course to win a sixth consecutive title.

Their perfect league record has already earned them a place in Welsh football's history books.

Craig Harrison's men became the first side to win 16 consecutive Dafabet Welsh Premier League games in a season with a 4-0 victory over Airbus UK Broughton in November.

Craig Harrison
Saints manager Craig Harrison played for Middlesbrough and Crystal Palace

They are also still on course to win the domestic Welsh treble for a third successive year.

The Oswestry-based side are through to the final of the Nathaniel MG League Cup, where they will face Barry Town United in January and also in round four of the JD Welsh Cup.

Saints are also making an impression further afield.

Having been invited to take part in a new-look Scottish Challenge Cup, Saints have beaten Forfar Athletic and Livingston in reaching the semi-finals.

What they said

"It's a bit surreal when you think about it and look at it," said TNS boss Craig Harrison.

"There's been a bit of negative press leading up to it about Ajax and TNS and how can you compare.

"But to win 26 games at any level is a huge achievement by the players and they should be very proud of it."

The record

The current world record was set by Dutch giants Ajax in 1972, by a side which included the legendary Cruyff and Johann Neeskens.

The Amsterdam club won 26 games in a row in all competitions, including 19 league wins in the Eredivisie, four European Cup victories and three Dutch Cup wins.

Johan Cruyff in action for Ajax in 1972
Johan Cruyff was a member of the Ajax side which won the European Cup in 1972

Ajax came within one game of equalling the record during the 1995-96 season when a side featuring Edwin van der Sar, Frank and Ronald de Boer, Edgar Davids and Jari Litmanen won 25 games in a row.

Brazilian side Cortiba won 24 straight games in 2011 and Real Madrid - including Wales forward Gareth Bale - won 22 consecutive games during the 2014-15 season.

Scottish side East Kilbride actually went on a longer winning run earlier this season, with 30 consecutive wins, and received a crate of beer from Ajax in recognition.

But their feat has not been recognised by Guinness World Records as they play in the fifth-tier Lowland League.

What Saints need to do

After beating second-from-bottom Cefn Druids at home on Boxing Day The Saints stand on the brink of eclipsing a record set by one of the sport's most celebrated teams.

Victory in the return game away at Druids' The Rock stadium on Friday would secure a little piece of footballing history.

Last defeat

Harrison's side last suffered defeat in July when they were beaten 3-0 by Apoel Nicosia of Cyprus in a Champions League second qualifying round second leg tie.

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