Tuesday, July 20, 2010
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The Irish angle on Tuesday night's game

THE Irish angle on The New Saints' 1-0 defeat to Bohemians on Tuesday night, from the Irish Times.

BOHEMIANS hold the advantage after the first leg of this Champions League qualifier thanks to a second-half Killian Brennan header but TNS made them work hard for it at Dalymount Park in front of a crowd of 2,314.
The Welsh side had several chances to score and Bohemians will be pleased not to have conceded an away goal and should be confident of progress going into the return leg next Tuesday.
TNS started well and were a match for Pat Fenlon’s side in every department and created an opening on eight minutes. Matthew Berkeley was played in on the edge of the Bohemians box but slotted his low shot wide, though the offside flag had been raised.
Bohemians’ passing and team work let them down early on as they tried to come to terms with the neat, slick passing and movement of TNS. On 18 minutes Paddy Madden met a long ball and headed into the danger area but there was no one there to meet it.
Madden was proving tricky for TNS to contain and Steven Evans stuck a leg out to block his half chance on 21 minutes. On 23 minutes, Madden dashed into the six-yard box to meet a Brennan corner but goalkeeper Paul Harrison got there first and saved well. The Dublin side were improving and Evans blocked a Raffaele Cretaro effort on 28 minutes.
TNS could have taken the lead on 36 minutes when Christopher Sharp met Craig Jones’s cross from the right but with only goalkeeper Barry Murphy to beat he shot wide. Jones then smashed his own shot off-target on 39 minutes.
At the other end, Madden played a neat one-two with Cretaro on 41 minutes but shot wide from the edge of the six-yard box. Harrison had a busy end to the half, making excellent saves from Madden and Conor Powell on 45 minutes. Scott Ruscoe was next to try his luck for TNS, on 49 minutes, after neat play from Sharp and Matthew Williams but Ruscoe failed to find the target.
A minute later Daniel Holmes hooked the ball around Bohemians’ Paul Keegan and slammed a ball across the packed goalmouth but the ball flew through without anyone getting a touch.
Fenlon’s side was nearly in front on 59 minutes when Madden ran onto Brennan’s inch-perfect through ball but the alert Harrison raced out to block. The ball was played back to Madden moments later and he headed wide from six-yards.
Bohemians were showing a vast improvement on their first-half showing and always looked the more likely of the sides to score.
The breakthrough finally came on 66 minutes and Madden was the provider for Brennan who headed powerfully past Harrison.
With the goal in the bag, Bohemians looked more comfortable and kept the TNS defence busy with a series of forays into the area and shots from distance. One of the best came on 82 minutes when Mark Quigley shot from 25 yards out but with Harrison beaten, the ball struck the crossbar. Harrison came to TNS’s rescue again on 87 minutes when he darted out to dispossess Madden cleanly just inside the penalty area.
Photo: Killian Brennan celebrates the game's only goal [uefa.com].

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