Saints march into the FAW Welsh Cup Quarter Final

The New Saints advanced into the FAW Welsh Cup Quarter Finals after beating Carmarthen Town two nil, thanks to goals from Mike Wilde and Ryan Fraughan at Park Hall stadium.

Wilde opened the scoring in the 45th minute and Fraughan doubled the lead with half an hour to play to ensure that The Saints will face Airbus UK in the Quarter Final.

Mark Aizlewood’s side started very deep and although The Saints had a lot of the ball early on, the home side couldn’t find a way through. In the 18th minute, TNS won a free kick on the edge of the box but Chris Seargeant curled his effort just over the bar.

Ten minutes later and Craig Harrison’s side won another free kick on the edge of the box. This time Chris Marriott stepped up but his effort curled just wide with Stephen Cann stranded.

Midway through the first half, Fraughan picked out Wilde with a wonderful ball but the powerful striker headed just wide of the post.

A minute later, Fraughan nearly broke the deadlock himself. The former Tranmere Rovers wide man did superbly to create space for himself on the edge of the box before firing just over the bar.

However, The Saints found a way through in the 45th minute. Sam Finley produced a brilliant cross which Wilde met at the back post. The TNS number 18 ghosted in unmarked and coolly converted from close range, to give the Oswestry based side the lead at half time.

Chris Jones nearly doubled the lead with a powerful shot from the edge of the box but Cann got down low and produced a good save to keep out the former Swansea City man.

Soon after, Fraughan, who was a constant threat throughout the match, headed straight at Cann, after Jamie Mullan had magnificently picked him out with an outstanding cross.

However, on the hour mark, Fraughan finally got himself a goal. After taking a corner, the TNS number 11 dribbled past a couple of Carmarthen defenders before smashing an unstoppable shot into the top corner, to give his side a two goal advantage.

With only ten minutes left to play, Finley bombed up the field and hit the post. Fraughan played an inch perfect ball into his path and the midfielder, who was playing at right back, composed himself, before hitting the ball against the outside of the post.

The visitors won a free kick on the edge of the box but Corey Thomas fired it over as the rain started to pour down at Park Hall.

Kai Edwards nearly curled a brilliant shot in from the edge of the box as The Saints played out the rest of the tie.

The result means that TNS will take on Airbus UK at Park Hall stadium on March the 1st in the FAW Welsh Cup Quarter Final.

The New Saints line up for the Cup tie was Paul Harrison (C), Sam Finley, Chris Marriott, Phil Baker, Kai Edwards, Aeron Edwards, Chris Seargeant, Ryan Fraughan, Chris Jones (Connell Rawlinson 85), Jamie Mullan and Mike Wilde (Greg Draper 88).

The unused substitutes for The Saints were Curtis Jones, Matty Williams and Aaron Simms.

The Carmarthen line up was Stephen Cann, Corey Thomas, Chris Thomas, Luke Bowen (Paul Fowler 70), Carl Evans (C), Kyle Bassett, Liam Thomas (Christian Doidge 60), Cortez Belle, Craig Handford, Luke Cummings and Matty Collins.
The unused substitutes for Carmarthen were Craig Hughes, Neil Smothers and Liam McCreesh.