Game, Set, But Not Quite Match, Although The New Saints Do Face An Uphill Struggle In Copenhagen Next Week


Match Report

Yellow cards: Davies (58)
Substitutions: Draper for Ebbe (56), Nembhard for Cieslewicz (75)

Attendance: 1230


Match Report: Stewart Bloor

In the searing heat of Park Hall, it was The New Saints FC who created the first opportunity. Just into the second minute, Ryan Brobbel blasted high as the home side looked to establish an early domination.

By the 10th minute, neither goalkeeper had been tested, although Skov shot low and wide from just inside the penalty area.

Three minutes on it was almost unlucky thirteen for FC Copenhagen goalkeeper, Grytebust, as he failed to deal cleanly with a through ball. With Aeron Edwards looking to take advantage, the stopper eventually did his job on the edge of the area.

For a moment it looked as if the visitors had broken the deadlock, when Nelsson connected with a corner that went just wide.

However, with the clock in the 18th minute, the first goal was scored, as Sotiriou converted from close range, to put the champions of Denmark 1-0 up.

As we hit the one-third stage of the game, it was Copenhagen who had control of the encounter, as far as possession was concerned. Although the play was predominantly in the TNS FC half though, it was just the one goal that separated the sides.

Breaking down a pass, as he chested the ball down, Danny Redmond went on a run that saw his eventual shot go wide of the keeper’s left post. It was a sign that although Scott Ruscoe’s side weren’t enjoying their usual domestic dominance, they were far from dead and buried.

With three minutes to go before the break, it was Adrian Cieslewicz’s turn to go for goal. Breaking in from the left, the winger like Redmond before him, he saw his curling effort also go wide of Grytebust’s left stick.

Half-time: The New Saints FC 0 FC Copenhagen 1

In the second period, with neither keeper being tested, Scott Ruscoe made his first change by bringing on the JD Welsh Premier League’s golden boot, Greg Draper replaced last week’s goal hero, Dean Ebbe.

The change, in the 56th minute, rather than inspire TNS FC though, saw them concede a penalty seconds later, as Keston Davies’ foul in the box led to a yellow card and a penalty to the visitors.

Although Harrison dived the right way, Skov’s well-executed spot-kick beat the keeper, as he put his side firmly in the driving seat, as we entered the 61st minute.

Looking to haul themselves into the game, a clever ball from the outside of Routledge’s boot found Draper, down The New Saints’ left. The ball back from the TNS FC number 9 was met by the midfielder, whose shot was well off target.

A good move involving several players led to a corner for the home side. Played in by Brobbel, although the keeper wasn’t threatened, the reigning JD Welsh Premier League champions enjoyed a brief spell of possession.

Looking to bring on fresh legs, with a quarter of an hour to go, Joash Nembhard again graced the Champions League stage as a substitute, as he replaced Adrian Cieslewicz.

As the game edged towards a conclusion, the visitors, with one eye on the return leg next week, looked happy enough with the 2-0 lead that they take back to Denmark with them. It certainly makes it very difficult for The New Saints, but at two, although it may be goal and set, it’s certainly not match just yet.

In the dying seconds though, the deficit was almost reduced, as a powerful strike from Mullan went over. Scott Ruscoe’s side continued to battle and work hard, although not able to grab an all-important goal as the referee blew his whistle for the final time.

Full-time: The New Saints FC 0 FC Copenhagen 2


Date Time League Season
23rd July 2019 7:00 pm Champions League 2019 - 2020


Park Hall Stadium
The Venue, Burma Rd, Whittington, Oswestry SY11 4AS, UK


The New Saints FC0
FC Copenhagen2

The New Saints FC

1Paul Harrison Goalkeeper
2Simon Spender Defender
4Keston Davies Defender
6Jon Routledge Midfielder
8Ryan Brobbel Midfielder
9Greg Draper 17 Forward
11Adrian Cieslewicz 20 Forward
14Jamie Mullan Forward
17Dean Ebbe 9 Forward
20Joash Nembhard 11 Defender
23Aeron Edwards Midfielder
24Ryan Harrington Defender