An Amazing Comeback Falls Just Short – The New Saints FC 4-0 KF Shkëndija (4-5)

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Match Report

The New Saints put in a battling display, as they fell just short in their pursuit of Champions League progression.

The Saints defeated the Macedonian champions KF Shkëndija 4-0 on the night, but it wasn’t enough as they were eliminated 5-4 on aggregate.

Scott Ruscoe’s side now move into the Europa League second qualifying round, where they will face Lincoln Red Imps.

The New Saints were on the front foot right from kick-off. The introduction of Aeron Edwards into the midfield five allowed the team early possession of the ball, something they struggled at for ninety minutes last week.

It took just 15 minutes for the change to pay off. Following a poorly cleared corner, Dean Ebbe collected the ball at a tight angle but managed to beat the Shkëndija goalkeeper, making the score 1-0.

Not even the most optimistic of supporters could have predicted what was to follow.

15 minutes later, The Saints had a second. This time it was Danny Redmond who caught a volley sweetly, turning the ball past a diving goalkeeper, after he was expertly picked out by a Jamie Mullan cross. 2-0.

With 35 minutes on the clock, a TNS free-kick dropped to Ben Cabango, who showed a fantastic first touch, not only to control the ball, but fire into the corner of the goal.

The score was 3-0 heading into the break and the visitors were stunned.

Worried by the potential embarrassment of the upset, Shkëndija made changes at the interval. They brought on Besart Ibraimi and Marjan Radeski who steadied the ship.

TNS continued to control the game though and the introduction of Greg Draper breathed more life into the side.

But time was running out. With 75 minutes gone, Jon Routledge cannoned an effort back off the right hand post and at that point you began to wonder if that was the chance gone.

Scott Ruscoe introduced Kurtis Bryne, offering further firepower to the equation.

In the sixth minute of additional time, the Irish striker popped up to grab his first goal for the club, and The Saints’ fourth on the night, but it proved to be just too little, too late.

Following last week’s defeat in Macedonia, it was an incredible response and gives the team plenty to build upon as they prepare to take on Lincoln Red Imps.

 

Details

Date Time League Season
July 17, 2018 7:00 pm Champions League 2018 – 2019

Ground

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

Results

ClubGoals
The New Saints FC4
KF Shkëndija0

The New Saints FC

1Paul Harrison Goalkeeper
3Chris Marriott Defender
4Tom Holland Midfielder
5Ben Cabango Defender
6Jon Routledge Midfielder
9Greg Draper Forward
10Danny Redmond Midfielder
11Adrian Cieslewicz Forward
12Blaine Hudson Defender
14Jamie Mullan Forward
17Dean Ebbe Forward
21Kurtis Byrne Forward
22Kane Lewis Defender
23Aeron Edwards Midfielder