Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Saints alive but rue missed Euro chances

THE New Saints will travel to Sweden next week with their hopes of Champions League progress still alive after an excellent goal-less home draw against Helsingborgs IF.

Indeed, the Saints were disappointed not to win the game after creating several good first-half chances, although they were indebted to keeper Paul Harrison for a couple of excellent saves later in the game.
TNS took the game to their visitors straight from the whistle and Craig Jones beat two defenders before seeing his curling shot hit the inside of the far post and rebound to safety after just 23 seconds.
Rachid Bouaouzan's shot from a narrow angle was bundled to safety by Harrison, before Craig Jones fired an 18-yard screamer just over the bar.
Jones then sent a teasing cross into the far post which just eluded the outstretched leg of Greg Draper.
Debuntant Chris Jones had a good shot from just outside the box grabbed by the keeper after a corner had only been half cleared, but it took a good intervention from Steve Evans to divert Ardian Gashi's goal-bound shot for a corner.
Aeron Edwards had a clear header from a Chris Marriott corner but sent his effort well over the bar just before the break.
The Saints went close again early in the second period when Marriott's free kick eluded everyone in the box and just missed at the far post.
HIF had the ball in the net from a corner but the referee whistled for a foul on Harrison, who then did well to top over a far post header from Alfred Finnbogason.
And, when Phil Baker carelessly gave the ball away, sub Erik Sundin played in Finnbogason whose shot was headed into the far corner before being tipped-away left handed by Harrison.
Photo: Debutant Chris Jones loses out to three Helsingborgs defenders [Phil Blagg].

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