The New Saints lost 2-0 to a slick Middlesbrough Reserves side today.
The Saints started well, confidently passing the ball around with the first chance falling to Jamie Mullan. Ryan Fraughan did wonderfully well to create some space and then find the Nottingham born winger, who smashed his shot into the side netting.
A minute later and Fraughan was once again causing havoc for the Middlesbrough defence and his audacious lob flew inches over the cross bar.
The confident Under 21 side then started to move the ball around and with 25 minutes gone, they took the lead. With the Middlesbrough first team manager Tony Mowbray watching on from the side lines, Ryan Brobbell calmly cut inside and slotted in the first goal of the game, from just inside the box.
Ten minutes later and it was two. Matthew Waters doubled his teams lead after the tall midfielder struck a ferocious shot from the edge of the box, that the TNS captain couldn’t reach.
Despite efforts from Sam Finley, Fraughan and Mike Wilde, The Saints went into the half time break two goals down.
Craig Harrison decided to make two changes during the break and the former Middlesbrough player replaced Phil Baker and Ryan Fraughan with Connell Rawlinson and Alex Darlington respectively.
Ten minutes into the second half and The Saints nearly pulled a goal back. The former Chester striker Wilde did brilliantly to nod it down to the oncoming Chris Jones, who blasted an unstoppable shot against the post.
The visitors were enjoying large periods of possession and with the threatening Mullan causing problems, a goal looked likely. However, despite attempts from Finley, Wilde and substitute Darlington, Jamie Clapham’s Under 21 side withstood the pressure.
Full time: Middlesbrough Under 21’s 2-0 The New Saints.
The New Saints line up was Paul Harrison, Simon Spender, Chris Marriott, Phil Baker, Kai Edwards, Sam Finley, Aeron Edwards, Jamie Mullan, Ryan Fraughan, Chris Jones and Mike Wilde.
The Middlesbrough Under 21 side was Luke Coddington, Andre Bennett, Johny Burn, Adam Jackson, Birger Mellin,
Matthew Dolan, Ryan Brobbell, Matthew Waters, Bradley Fewster, Bryn Morris and Wilson Kneeshaw.