Slick Saints Secure Semi

The New Saints advanced into the semi-final of the Word Cup with a 3-0 victory against Penybont at Park Hall Stadium.

The Saints opened the scoring thanks to Alex Darlington and second half goals from Mike Wilde and Scott Quigley, sealed the tie.

Craig Harrison’s side started brightly with both Ryan Pryce and Wilde going close to breaking the deadlock.

The visitors defended very well throughout the opening stages and looked lively on the counter attack. However, they were unable to test Chris Mullock despite the efforts of Anthony Rawlings.

Midway through the first half, Darlington opened the scoring when he tapped in from four yards out after his initial strike had been palmed out by Rhys Wilson. The ball fell kindly to the striker and he confidently slotted in to put The Saints into the lead.

Moments later, Ryan Edwards’ excellent ball found Wilde who was unlucky to see his looping header fly just over the bar as The Saints pressed for a second goal.

Wilde didn’t have to wait long for another chance and added a second goal with a cool finish from just inside the six yard box. An excellent cross from Cieslewicz found Wilde, who converted to ensure that The Saints went into the break leading by 2-0.

The second half started with TNS veteran, Scott Ruscoe, replacing Cieslewicz. Within minutes, TNS nearly added a third goal when Darlington completed a magnificent dribble into the box but his powerful shot was diverted out for a corner.

With an hour played, TNS continued to push forward and Darlington and Quigley both went close.

A defensive mistake from Penybont resulted in Darlington being clean through but his shot rolled against the post with the ball bouncing inches away from Quigley, who was set to tap in.

Luke Douglas went close with a great effort from the edge of the box and a minute later Quigley finished the scoring when he unleashed an unstoppable strike into the top corner from close range.

The Saints controlled the remainder of the game and safely secured their passage into the next round of the Word Cup.

Full time: The New Saints 3-0 Penybont.

The New Saints: Chris Mullock, Ryan Pryce, Luke Douglas, Connell Rawlinson, Kai Edwards (James Jones 90) Ryan Kershaw (Fisnik Hajdari 76), Ryan Edwards, Alex Darlington, Scott Quigley, Mike Wilde (C) and Adrian Cieslewicz (Scott Ruscoe 46).

The unused substitutes for TNS were Greg Draper, Simon Spender, Chris Marriott and Aeron Edwards.

Penybont: Rhys Wilson,  Scott Hillman, Rhys Whitelock, Craig Reddy (Ben Cripps 70) Sean Williams (C), John Budd, Jake Roberts, Cullen Kinsella, Nathan Jones, Anthony Rawlings and Nathan Renfree.

The unused substitutes for the visitors were Robert Jones and Paul Wiseman.