Wednesday, August 24, 2011
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Baker heads the Saints to European history

THE New Saints made history by winning their first-ever away tie in Europe to march into the second qualifying round of the Europa League.
A fourth-minute goal from Phil Baker proved enough to beat Cliftonville 1-0 at their Solitude ground in Belfast, but the Saints were forced to ride their luck.
Baker rose highest at the far post to head past keeper Ryan Brown from Chris Marriott's right-wing free-kick as TNS controlled the early play.
Brown was forced to save at the feet of Draper from a Craig Jones cross, but Paul Harrison made a great fingertip save to deny George McMullan just before the half hour.
Steve Evans headed wide from a Simon Spender free-kick before Draper missed a great chance to double the lead, heading wide from a Jones cross.
The Saints lost goal scorer Baker to an injury as the hosts began to get a foothold in the game. Ciaran Caldwell hit the outside of a post from a narrow angle just before the break and, in a spell on intense pressure after half-time, Ryan Catney rattled the underside of the crossbar from 18 yards.
Brown did well to keep out another Draper effort as TNS responded and then got his feet to a Jones shot.
Starlet Joe Gormley, on as a sub, brought a good save from Harrison but then missed his moment of glory, heading wide from six yards.
Chris Williams almost added to the TNS tally when his shot was cleared off the line by Eamonn Seydak and the Saints played out four minutes of added time to clinch a second qualifying round with Midtjylland of Denmark.
Photo: Phil Baker is buried under the celebrations from Greg Draper, Barry Hogan and Scott Ruscoe.

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