TNS made it five cup finals in three seasons on Tuesday evening, as a 1-0 victory was enough to see off a passionate gap Connah’s Quay side in the semi-final of the Nathaniel MG Cars Cup (Welsh League Cup).
— The New Saints FC (@tnsfc) November 22, 2016
Below is the match report, courtesy of Rob Doman, who also joined us on TNS Radio for the game.
A SOLITARY Scott Quigley strike saw TNS take another significant step towards a third successive Welsh League Cup Crown against a hungry Connah’s Quay side to book a spot in January’s final.
Quigley’s early goal left the Nomads facing an uphill task after last week’s initial tie was called off after 73 minutes due to fog with the fixture finely poised at 2-2.
But Connah’s Quay, picked up where they left off and posed a consistent threat to Craig Harrison’s men throughout the 90 minutes despite Greg Draper rattling the crossbar as he missed a guilt-edged chance to make the game safe late on.
A succession of early Nomads set-pieces set the tone early on, but their inability to provide a telling touch was punished when Phil Baker’s searching long ball resulted in Quigley putting his name on the score sheet.
The striker showed his quality to control the ball and create space for a shot on the edge of the penalty area, benefiting from a deflection to steer the ball beyond the wrong-footed John Danby just nine minutes in.
However, the goal did little to dampen the spirit of a persistent Nomads team who continued to press and create opportunities to underline their current status as the second placed team in the Welsh Premier League.
Nick Rushton was a whisker away from meeting Nathan Woolfe’s inviting cross in the 26th minute of the enthralling Nathaniel MG League Cup semi-final.
And Les Davies also threatened in a half devoid of clear cut chances before hitting the woodwork early in the second period.
He just failed to convert Woolfe’s 50th minute corner to leave the frame of the goal shaking before flashing a shot across the goal mouth which slid past Paul Harrison’s far post.
Quigley sought to put TNS back in control when he beat his man to cut inside the Nomads’ penalty area only for his effort to pick up the merest of deflections to put it shy of the net and behind for a corner.
With Nomads proving dangerous at set-pieces and the long throw-ins provided by Lewis Short, they continued to harass The New Saints and command the lions share of the play.
Rushton headed straight at Harrison when well placed to do better and Davies was also guilty of wasting a chance when he put his 77th minute header over the bar amid a statuesque TNS defence.
With Connah’s Quay lacking the cutting edge to put them back on level terms, Draper should have secured the result on 85 minutes when he broke away from a resilient Nomads defence and bore down on goal only to volley against the crossbar with just Danby to beat.
But with Andy Morrison’s team failing to find an equaliser it was Saints who marched through to the final, booking a hotly anticipiated clash with Barry Town and bidding to continue their stranglehold on the competition in recent years as they pursue a domestic treble for the third time in as many years.