Here's how The New Saints line-up in tonight's Irn-Bru Cup semi-final against Dumbarton. There's one change to the side that beat Bangor City last week, as Greg Draper returns to the starting 11, replacing Jamie Mullan. #IrnBruCup pic.twitter.com/k83e7buulj
— The New Saints FC (@tnsfc) February 17, 2018
For the second season on the bounce, The New Saints of Oswestry Town bowed out at the semi-final stage of the Irn-Bru Cup. Again to Scottish Championship opposition, as Dumbarton FC emulated St. Mirren last time round by denying a TNS final appearance.
Taking the game to the visitors from the off, The New Saints almost got off to the perfect start. A ball in from Simon Spender down the right found the head of Aeron Edwards who saw his attempt crash against the bar.
The right-back was in the action a couple of minutes on as his shot went wide. As the home side dominance continued, a free-kick from Chris Marriott was headed out for a corner.
With the reigning JD Welsh Premier League champions continuing to take the game to the visitors, a series of free-kicks and corners added to the pressure.
Passing the halfway stage of the first half, Spender made his way in the box only for another blocked shot, as the Sons defended well and in numbers.
In the thirtieth minute, a great run by Nade down Dumbarton’s right saw the visitors create an opportunity of their own. The result was a corner. as Spender chested the ball but was unable to prevent it from going behind.
Another corner, this time to The New Saints, saw Ryan Brobbel’s ball in find the head of Connell Rawlinson. His effort on goal bounced and was then comfortably collected by Scott Gallacher.
Although TNS had the bulk of possession in the first period, nevertheless at the break the deadlock was yet to be broken.
Five minutes into the second half, Dumbarton had an attempt on Paul Harrison’s goal that went well over.
Two minutes on though, the opening goal fell to the home side. A ball in from Brobbel down the right resulted in a scramble in the box. Falling to Dean Ebbe, the ex-Inverness Caledonian Thistle striker made no mistake as he found the back of the net. 1-0
The New Saints threatened for a second, with lively play seeing the best effort a Marriott corner finding the head of Blaine Hudson. Rattling the crossbar, the referee blew immediately for a foul, so on this occasion the woodwork didn’t come to the Sons’ rescue a second time.
In the 74th minute, the visitors equalised in spectacular style as Danny Handling set himself up on a run. His shot from outside the box gave Harrison no chance and it was game on. 1-1
Nine minutes later, a long ball found Draper. Turning, his curling shot was wide of Gallacher’s left post.
Just one minute later, and with six to go, it was Dumbarton who took the lead with another top-class finish. This time from a free-kick, the perfectly executed ball from substitute, Dimitris Froxylias, found the net. 1-2
Although The New Saints pushed for the equaliser that would have taken them to a third game of extra-time in the competition, it wasn’t to be. With three minutes added at the end of the ninety, it was the Sons who found themselves in the final, as referee Neil Doyle blew for the final time.
Goal: Ebbe (52)
Yellow card: Spender (26)
Substitution: Kauber for Edwards (87)
Photographs: Brian Jones. More here on our Facebook page.
|February 17, 2018||7:35 pm||IRN-BRU Cup||2017 - 2018|
|Park Hall Stadium|
|The Venue, Burma Rd, Whittington, Oswestry SY11 4AS, UK|
|The New Saints FC||1|