Sunday, June 10, 2012

Baker delivers the Saints a Valentine's present

PHIL Baker's late header made it a happy Valentine's Day as The New Saints carved a slender advantage over Airbus UK Broughton in the League Cup.

TNS handed full debuts to Sam Finley and keeper Alex Ramsay for this second round first leg tie, with Tom Roberts and Ryan Fraughan also named in a youthful starting line-up.
The visitors suffered an early blow when ex-TNS defender Tommy Holmes was forced-off with a hamstring strain after only five minutes but they produced the first serious threat of the game when Neville Thompson's 18-yarder was met with an excellent diving save from Ramsay, who also did well to keep out a header from the subsequent corner
But it was the Saints who drew first blood with an excellent individual effort from Christian Seargeant, who fired past keeper Niki Lee-Bulmer and into the top corner after 28 minutes.
Making a rare start, Charlie Proctor was unlucky to see his strike rebound off an upright just before half-time and tested Lee-Bulmer again soon after the break.
But the Wingmakers hit back on the hour when Mark Danks sent a low drive from the edge of the box past Ramsay to level the scores.
Roberts brought a diving save from the Airbus keeper and substitute Chris Williams headed just wide of the far post before winning and then delivering the corner from which Baker beat marker Danny Grannon to head the decisive goal.
Overall, it was a decent performance from a makeshift eleven against a virtually full-strength Airbus side and the second leg in two weeks' time promises to be an interesting encounter.
Photo: Chris Seargeant salutes his opening goal for the Saints.

Shoot-out woe

Wrexham v TNS
The Saints suffered the agony of a 5-4 penalty shoot-out defeat to Wrexham at the Racecourse Ground in the 2006 semi-final.
TNS twice led the League Two outfit in normal time and again the shoot-out, before goalkeeper Gerard Doherty (above consoled by Chris King) missed the vital spot kick.

Ninian joy

Cardiff City v TNS
TNS beat Cardiff City 1-0 at Ninian Park on their way to the 2007 final success. John Leah is pictured celebrating with Jamie Wood.