The New Saints sealed their place in the FAW Welsh Cup Final after goals from Matty Williams and Jamie Mullan ensured a two one victory against a brave Bala Town.
Williams opened the scoring in the 15th minute but ten minutes later, Connall Murtagh drew his side level. Jamie Mullan gave his side the lead with a brilliant curling shot and the goal proved to be the winning goal of the game.
Within the first minute of the match, Mike Wilde put the ball in the net but the referee ruled the goal out after the TNS striker was adjudged to have pushed a Bala defender.
The Saints had the majority of possession early on and after 15 minutes went in front. Simon Spender’s wonderful cross was calmly volleyed in by Williams. The former Manchester United man found space in the box and was composed enough to place his controlled shot into the top corner.
However, although TNS seemed to be in control, Bala drew level. Murtagh smashed in an unstoppable shot from a narrow angle after The Saints had failed to clear a free kick.
Minutes later, Chris Jones missed the target from close range after Mullan had done really well to pick out his opposite winger.
Seconds later, Mullan turned from provider to scorer and helped TNS retake the lead. The winger wonderfully curled his effort into the bottom corner from the edge of the box leaving Ashley Morris no chance.
The Lakesiders continued to push forward in search of the equaliser but with Mullan causing problems down the left, it was The Saints who looked like scoring next.
The second half started with both sides going forward and TNS nearly scored a third minutes into it. Aeron Edwards’ cross was met by Mullan but the winger smashed over from close range.
Bala, who beat Aberdare Town in the previous round, started to apply a lot of pressure on the TNS defence but the Corbett Sports Welsh Premier League Champions continued to defend well.
Mark Connolly had a shot for Bala that flew just over the bar and soon after, Aeron Edwards nearly latched onto a wonderful free kick from Chris Seargeant.
Sam Finley replaced Williams with half an hour to go as Bala continued to push forward.
The Bala goalkeeper somehow denied Seargeant with only ten minutes left. The TNS number 12 expertly turned in the box and his excellent shot was magnificently kept out by the diving Morris.
As Bala pushed up higher and higher, Wilde raced through one on one with the Bala ‘keeper but the TNS forward shot straight at Morris as the game became increasingly stretched.
TNS defended the final four minutes of the match well and secured a spot in the FAW Welsh Cup Final.
The New Saints line up for today’s WPL Semi-Final clash consisted of Paul Harrison (C), Simon Spender, Chris Marriott, Phil Baker (Lee Fowler 82), Kai Edwards, Aeron Edwards, Chris Seargeant, Jamie Mullan, Matty Williams (Sam Finley 63), Chris Jones and Mike Wilde.
The unused substitutes for The Saints were Ryan Kershaw, Greg Draper and Ryan Fraughan.
The Bala Town line up was made up of Ashley Morris, Stuart Jones, Ryan Valentine, Dave Morley, Conall Murtagh, Mark Connolly, Mark Jones (C), Stef Edwards, Stephen Brown (Lewis Codling 60), Kenny Lunt (Sean Thornton 79) and Kieran Smith.
The unused substitutes for Bala were Matt Roswell, Danny Collin and Chris Mason.