A brilliant brace from Greg Draper and a late winner from Mike Wilde ensured that The New Saints completed a domestic double by dramatically beating Aberystwyth Town by three goals to two at the Glyndwr University Racecourse Stadium.
Chris Venables opened the scoring in the 11th minute and then completed his brace two minutes later. Draper pulled a goal back from the penalty spot in the 74th minute and soon after he levelled with a bullet header. With only three minutes left to play, Wilde scored the winning goal from close range in what was dramatic Cup Final.
Aberystwyth Town started brightly but within ten minutes, The Saints had started to take control of the game with a lot of possession.
However, Aber took the lead on 11 minutes after Venables volleyed in from close range. Craig Williams whipped in a dangerous free kick and Venables was left unmarked and powerfully struck home.
It got worse for The Saints a minute later when Brian James pointed to the spot. Antonio Corbisiero was brought down in the box and Venables stepped up confidently and sent Paul Harrison the wrong way to doubles his sides advantage.
The Saints tested Mike Lewis with a number of long range efforts but Mike Lewis was equal to all of them as Ian Hughes’ side continued to look good value for their lead.
The second half continued in a similar manner with The Saints having a lot of possession but were unable to find a way through.
Greg Draper and Jamie Mullan were sent on as Craig Harrison looked for a goal and Wilde nearly grabbed one. The striker’s header was kept out by the diving Lewis.
With twenty minutes left, Aberystwyth nearly made it three but Geoff Kellaway managed to shoot wide from ten yards out.
Minutes later and Mullan won a penalty for his side. His cross was handled by Peter Hoy and Brian James pointed to the spot. Draper stepped up confidently and picked out the bottom right corner to give his side a lifeline.
The New Zealand International then levelled five minutes later. Chris Marriott’s powerful free kick was met by Draper’s bullet header leaving Lewis no chance.
With five minutes left to play, Draper was released by Finley but the striker was unable to convert from a tight angle as TNS looked to score the winning goal.
Seconds later and The Saints scored what proved to be the winning goal. Phil Baker’s perfect through ball was met by substitute Simon Spender and it was his perfect cross that set up Wilde. The former Chester City man found space in the box and volleyed home from close range to secure the FAW Welsh Cup trophy.
The New Saints line up was made up of Paul Harrison (C), Aeron Edwards, Chris Marriott, Phil Baker, Kai Edwards, Chris Seargeant (Simon Spender 69), Sam Finley, Chris Jones (Jamie Mullan 46), Mike Wilde, Matty Williams (Greg Draper 61) and Ryan Fraughan.
The unused substitutes for The Saints were Lee Fowler and Connell Rawlinson.
The Aberystwyth Town line up was Mike Lewis, Antonio Corbiesiero, Peter Hoy, Stuart Jones (C), Chris Venables, Mark Jones, Geoff Kellaway, Cledan Davies, Luke Sherbon, Craig Williams (Krzysztof Nalborski 83) and Wyn Thomas.
The unused substitutes for Aberystwyth were Sion James, Tom Shaw, Rhydian Davies and Jamie Butler.