With the deadlock still intact at the break, whatever Scott Ruscoe said to the players in the dressing room worked, because it was 1-0 within four minutes of the second period getting underway.
Looking to get on the end of a ball played in from the right by Aeron Edwards, Greg Draper was bundled over from behind. Back on his feet, the JD Welsh Premier League’s Golden Boot for the last two campaigns dusted himself down and smashed the ball home from the spot.
Continuing from where he left off last season as far as goals are concerned, Greg has the honour of scoring TNS FC’s first competitive strike of the 2019/2020 season.
Although he found the net later in the game, Edwards can still claim our first goal in open play this season. The ball played in from the left was too high for the rising Joash Nembhard to connect with but the movement in the penalty area ensured that Azza was on hand to slot the ball home.
One of TNS FC’s most influential players, who pops up with key goals during the course of the season, it was great to see the Wales C captain on the score sheet in the opening fixture, as he returned from injury at just the right time.
One of three recent signings, the ex-Swansea City defender was in the starting line-up. UEFA Champions League – what a way to make your debut! Having impressed in the friendlies that he’s featured in so far, he slotted in at centre half, alongside the experienced Chris Marriott.
Although it started out – and continued – well, sadly it wasn’t the debut that Keston would have hoped for as we all know from the final score.
A second debut – albeit from the substitute’s bench – saw the Wales Under-19 international continue what has been a whirlwind few days. From travelling with the team to play Rangers in a behind-closed-doors friendly, to signing a contract, the ex-Aberdeen defender can now add UEFA Champions League to his TNS FC CV.
Down, But Not Out
If only the referee had blown the whistle at 88 minutes, then things would be very different! In the space of just four minutes we went from taking a comfortable lead into Kosovo next week, to not only being all-square, but also having the disadvantage of conceding two home goals in the process.
However, let’s not get too despondent. The staff and players will be working hard to put things right. There’s a positivity in the squad and there’s still everything to play for.
Lead image courtesy of Brian Jones.