See Craig Harrisons reaction below:
The New Saints started the new campaign with a comfortable victory against ten man Bangor City, after goals from Greg Draper and Sam Finley sealed a two nil win.
The Saints took the lead in the 25th minute thanks to Draper and in the 66th minute, Finley doubled the lead, to ensure a comfortable three points in the opening game of the season.
TNS controlled the opening stages of the game with Ryan Fraughan testing Jack Cudowrth from range in the tenth minute and Finley shooting just wide with the Bangor goalkeeper beaten.
Soon after, Bangor City striker Les Davies shot just wide in what was the visitors first shot of the game.
Despite Bangor frustrating The Saints by defending very deep, Craig Harrison’s side managed to find a break through.
Fraughan’s wonderful cross from the left was fumbled by Cudworth and Draper was the first to react. The TNS number nine pounced on the loose ball and tapped in from close range.
Soon after, Finley raced clear from the half way line and skipped past a couple of challenges before shooting wide from just inside the box.
TNS nearly doubled the advantage a minute later when Fraughan picked out Draper and the striker expertly controlled the ball before shooting into the side netting, from a tight angle.
With ten minutes left to play in the first half, The Saints won a free kick on the edge of the box. Chris Marriott’s powerful strike was kept out by Cudworth despite pressure from a couple of TNS players.
Les Davies picked up a yellow card after a nasty looking foul on Adrian Cieslewicz and in first half stoppage time, Bangor went down to ten men. Sam Hart pushed the linesman and was issued with a straight red, in what was the final piece of action in a half that TNS had dominated.
The second half started with Draper curling an effort towards goal but Cudworth was able to keep it out with a good save.
Ten minutes into the second half, Chris Seargeant’s powerful strike from the edge of the box was deflected on it’s way to the goal, meaning that the Bangor ‘keeper was able to catch the ball without much fuss.
Minutes later, Marriott picked out Draper, who despite getting a touch on the ball, was unable to beat Cudworth.
The impressive Fraughan nearly found the top corner after finding room on the edge of the box but unfortunately the left winger’s shot went just wide.
However, in the 66th minute, Finley added the second goal of the game. The energetic midfielder dribbled into the box and unleashed an unstoppable shot which sent Cudworth the wrong way and gave Harrison’s side complete control.
Harrison brought on Alex Darlington and Mike Wilde with fifteen minutes left as The Saints continued to dominate the game.
Wilde’s pass nearly found fellow substitute Matty Williams but the ball bounced away from the former Notts County man as TNS desperately looked for a third goal of the game.
Seargeant and Marriott picked up yellow cards late on in the game as the Welsh Champions cruised to a win on the opening night of the season.
Full time: TNS 2-0 Bangor City.
The New Saints: Paul Harrison, Simon Spender, Chris Marriott, Phil Baker, Kai Edwards, Sam Finley (Alex Darlington 73), Chris Seargeant, Aeron Edwards, Ryan Fraughan (Mike Wilde 73), Greg Draper (Matty Williams 83) and Adrian Cieslewicz.
The unused substitutes for TNS were Connell Rawlinson, Fisnik Hajdari, Scott Quigley and Ryan Pryce.
Bangor City: Jack Cudworth, Sam Hart, Leon Clowes, Anthony Miley, Michael Johnston (C), Ryan Edwards, Damian Allen, Sion Edwards, Les Davies, Declan Walker and Chris Jones.