Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Uefa Cup

Nick Welton attacks the Polonia defence
Nick Welton attacks the Polonia defence in Warsaw.
IN 2001, we played in the UEFA Cup for the first time, the result of finishing runners-up in the Welsh Cup the previous season. For the second time in three attempts we faced Polish opposition again, this time Polonia Warsaw. Unlike our two previous attempts in Europe when we played the home leg first, we had to play the away leg first this time round.
Unfortunately, the results were once again similar to our two previous away legs in Europe, another 4-0 defeat. Regardless of what the score line may suggest, we actually played well, and the result does not justify our performance.
For a long time it looked as though we could have held out for a goalless draw, but it wasn't to be. Everything changed in the 70th minute when the home side took the lead from a corner.
With just five minutes to go they extended their lead to 2-0, before matters got much worse in injury time when they scored two more to give them a virtually unassailable lead for the second leg.
That return leg at Wrexham also ended in defeat, although it was a case of what might have been. John Toner and Tim Alexander both had great efforts, the latter hitting the crossbar with a well struck shot. But a goal either side of half-time was more than enough to send Polonia Warsaw into the next round.
Aggregate score 0-6
The UEFA Cup 2002/3 ended in our biggest defeat in Europe so far, a 12-2 trouncing by Polish side Amica Wronki. They were quite literally in a different league to us, and our fate was sealed in the first leg in Poland when we lost 5-0. The home leg was played at Newtown's Latham Park, and although we started brightly, taking the lead twice during the first half through Steve Antrobus and John Toner goals, it was to prove to no avail, as our opponents forged on to win the game 7-2. Amica Wronki made it through to the last 16 of the competition, knocking out Leeds United's conquerors on the way!
Aggregate score 2-12
Manchester City v TNS
Jimmy Aggrey with a last ditch clearance in the City of Manchester Stadium.
Our first leg at Manchester City was always going to be a tough game, and I'm certain no-one from our Club realistically thought we would have a chance of drawing with them never mind beating them. They are without doubt one of the top teams in the Premiership and one of the best teams we are ever likely to face. It must have been a tremendous experience for our lads to be up against some World class opponents like that. Their ground was superb, and their supporters were second to none. It was certainly a night I will not forget in a hurry.
The second leg performance from TNS was superb and we could easily have taken the lead and scored at least twice.
For the record books, we were the last Welsh Premier club to play at the old National Stadium (Cardiff Arms Park) in 1996 before it was demolished, and on 28 August 2021 we became the first Welsh Premier club to play at the Millenium Stadium.
Aggregate score 0-7
Season 2004/5 saw TNS drawn against Swedish second division outfit Osters IF. In the away leg, Saints held out for 77 minutes before conceding two late goals.
In the return leg at Wrexham, the visitors settled the tie with an away goal in the 11th minute and, despite an 80th minute equaliser from Michael Wilde, grabbed a late winner.
Aggregate score 1-4
TNS were back in the Uefa Cup in 2008 after finishing as runners-up to Llanelli in the Welsh Premier.
There were high hopes of a good result against Lithuanian outfit FK Suduva but, after holding out for 89 minutes in Marijampole, TNS went down 1-0 to a well-worked goal from Sergiy Kozyhberda. The dream remained alive in the second leg at Newtown until five minutes from time, when Ivans Lukjanovs scored to ensure it was the visitors who went through to the next stage.
Aggregate score 0-2

Uefa Cup record

2001/2 UEFA CUP
9 Aug 2021 / Qualifying round 1st leg (Lodz)
Polonia Warsaw 4-0 TNS
23 Aug 2021 / Qualifying round 2nd leg (Wrexham)
TNS 0-2 Polonia Warsaw
2002/3 UEFA CUP
15 August 2021 / Qualifying round 1st leg (Lodz)
Amica Wronki (Poland) 5-0 TNS
29 Aug 2021 / Qualifying round 2nd leg (Newtown)
TNS 2-7 Amica Wronki
2003/4 UEFA CUP
14 Aug 2021 / Qualifying round 1st leg (Manchester)
Manchester City 5-0 TNS
28 Aug 2021 / Qualifying round 2nd leg (Cardiff)
TNS 0-2 Manchester City
2004/5 UEFA CUP
15 Jul 2021 / Qualifying round 1st leg (Vaxjo)
Osters IF (Sweden) 2-0 TNS
29 Jul 2021 / Qualifying round 2nd leg (Wrexham)
TNS 1-2 Osters IF (Sweden)
2008/9 UEFA CUP
17 Jul 2021 / 1st Qualifying Round 1st Leg (Marijampole)
FK Suduva 1-0 TNS
31 Jul 2021 / 1st Qualifying Round 2nd Leg (Newtown)
TNS 0-1 FK Suduva