Here's how The New Saints will line-up against Cardiff Metropolitan University in today's #NathanielMGCup final. The Saints have made two changes with Chris Marriott coming in for Ryan Pryce and Alex Darlington starting in place of the injured Greg Draper. pic.twitter.com/Dj83GLkdxP
— The New Saints FC (@tnsfc) January 20, 2018
- Goal: Mullan (64)
- Substitution: Ebbe for Darlington (78)
- Yellow cards: Spender (10), Routledge (76)
Match Report by Jamie Davies
Cardiff Metropolitan University FC 0, The New Saints of Oswestry Town 1
The New Saints have won the 2018 Nathaniel MG Cup after a 1-0 win over Cardiff Metropolitan University at Park Avenue in Aberystwyth on Saturday night.
Jamie Mullan’s 64th minute winning goal secured the Saints’ fourth Welsh League Cup victory in a row and manager Scott Ruscoe’s first silverware since replacing Craig Harrison last summer.
The defeat for Cardiff Met may not be the result they wanted but reaching their first cup final along with making the top six in their first two seasons in the Welsh Premier League shows how far the University team has come.
They made many changes from their away win at Carmarthen Town in the JD Welsh Premier League – a total of four. Dylan Rees, Brad Woolridge, Dan Spencer and Will Evans were named in the starting line-up. Rhydian Morgan and Harry Owen were placed on the bench while Mart Swindlehurst and Ben Bowler were not seen on the team sheet before kick-off.
Scott Ruscoe made two changes from the squad that beat Bangor City as TNS had to play on without their top goal scorer Greg Draper due to injury. The New Zealander was replaced by fellow forward Alex Darlington, while Chris Marriott started ahead of Ryan Pryce who was seen on the bench.
TNS were firm favourites going into the Welsh League Cup final aiming for their fourth straight win in a League Cup final. Cardiff Met however were aware of TNS’s previous final being a defeat to Bala Town in last season’s JD Welsh Cup.
The Welsh Premier League leaders got off to a good start just after three minutes when a free header by Alex Darlington was very well saved by Cardiff Met’s goalkeeper Will Fuller.
The first half was a real test for Cardiff Met taking in so many hits by the Welsh Premier League champions.
16 minutes in saw Connell Rawlinson’s header tipped over the crossbar by Fuller denying TNS taking an early two goal lead in a cup final.
Despite holding the game all square, Cardiff Met had to carry on for at least 63 minutes without Jordan Lam who was forced off by picking up an injury, with Harry Owen coming on to replace the winger.
The University team however made their first charge with 11 minutes left before the interval. A tremendous cross to Eliot Evans in the TNS box poked the ball into the net and as the underdogs went out to celebrate the linesman raised his flag for offside.
It was all-square at half time with TNS looking firmly in control after the chances they threw at their opponent’s goal.
The half time break did not seem to change any momentum as the Saints continued from what they left in the first half.
19 minutes into the second half saw TNS break the deadlock with Jamie Mullan smashing the ball home into the roof of the net from a tight angle on the near post.
It wasn’t long before TNS made an attempt to double the lead. Eight minutes after Mullan’s opening goal a half volleyed effort by striker Alex Darlington struck the post just a whisker away from putting the game to bed.
Dean Ebbe, who signed for TNS the day before the final, came on to replace Darlington with 12 minutes left on the clock.
Cardiff Met’s difficult evening was over as their attempt for an equaliser had passed, missing out on the Welsh League Cup by just a single goal.
Cardiff Metropolitan University: 1. Fuller (GK), 2. Rees, 3. McCarthy, 4. Woolridge ©, 7. E. Evans, 8. Baker, 11. Lam (21. Owen 27’), 12. Spencer (20. Hope 75’), 14. Edwards, 16. Barnett (17. Howell 67’), 18. W. Evans.
Substitutes: 15. Thomas, 17. Howell, 20. Hope, 21. Owen, 28. Morgan, 30 D. Evans (GK).
The New Saints: 1. Harrison (GK) ©, 2. Spender, 3. Marriott, 5. Rawlinson, 12. Hudson, 18. Holland, 6. Routledge, 23. Edwards, 14. Mullan, 8. Brobbel, 20. Darlington (17. Ebbe 78’).
Substitutes: 26. Pryce, 4. Saunders, 11. Parry, 17. Ebbe, 27. Kauber, 19. Clark, 13. Jones (GK).
Yellow cards: 2. Spender (10’), 6. Routledge (76’)
Goals: 14. Mullan 64’
Referee: Kevin Parry
|20th January 2018||5:15 pm||Nathaniel MG Cup||2017 - 2018|
|The New Saints FC||1|
|Cardiff Metropolitan University||0|