Holden halts Airbus take-off
SAINTS put Friday night's reverse behind them by opening their Loosemores League Cup campaign with a 3-2 win at The Airfield.
But they were forced to come from behind after conceding a seventh-minute goal, and a late slip by keeper Paul Harrison set-up a tense finish in which Airbus UK Broughton almost snatched a dramatic late equaliser.
TNS made a bright start to dominate the early proceedings before conceding a goal against the run of play, when Paul Hallows was allowed to head in at the far post from Gareth Owen's inswinging corner.
A switch to the right wing by Luke Holden soon brought a reply as, from a free-kick, the 18-year-old swung over an inch-perfect cross for Alfie Carter to head past keeper Andy Hughes from the edge of the six-yard box.
Holden produced three more similar crosses within the space of two minutes as he tormented the Wingmakers and Carter almost grabbed a replica of his first, only for his header to sail over the bar, while Carl Lamb's header just missed at the back post.
The pressure paid-off on 31 minutes when Carter's square ball found Scott Ruscoe who crossed for Lamb to beat Hughes to the ball and head the second.
Hughes saved his side on the restart with a fine save from Holden, but sub David Hughes almost levelled for the Wingmakers with his first touch, only to be denied by Harrison.
A long ball then found Lamb, whose shot was parried by Hughes across the box for the irrepressible Holden to cap a fine display with a simple shot for the third goal.
But an uncharacteristic handling error by Harrison from Owen's 30-yard cross under the bar set up a tense finish in which the Wingmakers almost grabbed an unlikely equaliser. A long ball over the top found David Hughes in space but, with only Harrison to beat, he sent his shot wide of the target.