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PENALTY HEARTACHE FOR SAINTS
Team-mates congratulate Scott Ruscoe after he opened the scoring [Phil Blagg]
Wrexham 3-3 TNS
Wrexham won 5-4 on penalties
FAW Premier Cup semi-final
Wednesday 1 February 2006: Away - Racecourse 7.00pm
SAINTS suffered the heartbreak of exit from the Premier Cup on penalties after a pulsating cup tie.
On a night of high drama at the Racecourse, TNS twice led their League Two opponents in normal time and twice held 'match point' in the penalty contest.
But Chris King sent his effort over, Michael Jackson saw his spot kick brilliantly saved by Reds' keeper Mike Ingham and it was left to skipper and keeper Gerard Doherty to take the final kick of a leg-weary shoot-out, which was saved by his opposite number.
It was rough justice on TNS who matched their Football League opponents for guts, determination and skill all night. They should have taken the lead in the ninth minute when Jamie Wood's far post header was saved, but a defensive blunder by Dave Bayliss gave Steven Beck the opportunity to lay the ball back for Scott Ruscoe to open the scoring on 39 minutes.
Beck should have killed the tie stone dead in the 73rd minute, but somehow sent his shot wide of the far post with just Ingham to beat and, five minutes later, a Mark Jones 25-yard volley levelled the tie.
TNS bounced back and regained the upper hand when Nicky Ward smashed a superb strike into the top corner, but returning Spanish hero Juan Ugarte kept Wrexham's hopes alive two minutes from the end of normal time.
Although the home side went ahead through Dennis Lawrence in extra-time, it was no surprise when Saints levelled again on a roller-coaster night.
Another defensive error saw Ingham forced to head clear from outside his area and Steve Evans, a rock at the heart of the defence all night, returned the ball into the net from 30 yards.
1 February 2021