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Jul 17th 2007 at 19:30 Latham Park Attendance 649
The New Saints
3 - 2
FK Ventspils (Latvia)
Match report UEFA CHAMPIONS LGE / 1st Qualifying Round, 1st Leg

John Toner celebrates the opening goal with scorer Michael Wilde [All photos: Phil Blagg/County Times].
Click for more photos
Hogan's late show keeps tie alive

A GOAL deep in injury time from diminutive midfielder Barry Hogan ensured The New Saints clinched their first-ever success in European competitions at the 17th time of asking.
The 3-2 win was richly deserved, but Ken McKenna's men still face an uphill task in Latvia after conceding two away goals, which could prove crucial to the outcome of the tie.
TNS had twice taken the lead, through Michael Wilde and Phil Baker, at a rain-swept Latham Park only to be twice pegged back by a brace from Ventspils' striker Vits Rimkus.
But they snatched a dramatic victory in the 94th-minute when Hogan lashed a 15-yard shot into the roof of the net after Wilde's effort had been blocked on the line.
Watched by former Italian national coach Giovana Trapatoni, whose Salzburg outfit await in the second qualifying round, TNS made a brighter start than their opponents as they quickly found their stride on a slick and well-prepared Newtown surface. John Toner almost gave Saints an early lead with a header that fizzed just wide, while Jamie Wood saw his low shot blocked by goalkeeper Pavels Davidovs.
Their early superiority paid dividends after 14 minutes when Hogan crossed to Baker whose flicked-on header was powered into the net by Wilde.
But the Latvians hit back on 27 minutes against the run of play when Duane Courtney lost possession on the half-way line and Sergei Sernetsky surged into the box before squaring for Rimkus to punish the error.
The goal took the wind out of the TNS sails and, in the Latvians' only real spell of pressure, it took a goal-line headed clearance by Steven Beck to prevent Zurab Menteshashvili from adding a second.
McKenna's half time team talk spurred the Saints into action and they soon regained their poise to put the Ventspils defence under pressure again. Half-time sub Ronnie Morgan almost opened his TNS account with his first touch while Wilde missed a golden opportunity.
But there was no mistake on 54 minutes when Davidovs had just denied Scott Ruscoe with a near post save. The keeper flapped at the second of two resulting corners, and Beck's cross was driven inside the right post by Baker.
With the Latvians now looking disorganised at the back, Saints sensed a famous win but appeared to have let their chance slip in the final minute. An early cross from Mikhails Zizilevs took a deflection and Rimkus stole in to level.
But TNS were not to be denied and, with McKenna urging his men forward for one final attack, Hogan seized the goal that his side richly deserved.
Referee: Joseph Attard (Malta)

Michael Wilde (14)
Phil Baker (54)
Barry Hogan (90)
Vits Rimkus (28)
Vits Rimkus (89)
Starting line-ups
Paul Harrison
Duane Courtney
Chris King
Phil Baker
Tommy Holmes
Scott Ruscoe
Steven Beck
Barry Hogan
Michael Wilde
John Toner
Jamie Wood
Pavels Davidovs
Jean Paul Ndjoumeck-Ndeki
Alekseis Soleicuks
Deniss Kacanovs
Zakhar Dubenskiy
Zurab Menteshashvili
Vladimirs Kolesnicenko
Mihails Zizilevs
Igor Tigirlas
Sergiy Sernetskyy
Vits Rimkus
John Bagnall
Martyn Naylor
Rob Williams
Gary Brabin
John Leah
Ronnie Morgan
Carl Lamb
Maris Eltermanis
Deniis Sokolskis
Igors Savcenkovs
Jevgenijs Kosmacovs
Alexander Mysikov
Sergey Zangareev
Igors Slesarcuks
Ronnie Morgan -> John Toner (46)
John Leah -> Scott Ruscoe (82)
Martyn Naylor -> Jamie Wood (86)
Jevgenijs Kosmacovs -> Vladimirs Kolesnicenko (65)
Sergey Zangareev -> Igor Tigirlas (69)
None Zurab Menteshashvili (69)
Pavels Davidovs (78)
None None
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NOTE: For comparison purposes, teams are referred to throughout all seasons by their current names.
Substitute minutes of 99 indicate actual times not known.
The New Saints played as Total Network Solutions from 1997 to end of season 2005/6.
NEWI Cefn Druids played as Flexsys Cefn Druids prior to 2003/4.
Port Talbot Town played as Port Talbot Athletic prior to 2001/2.
Total Network Solutions played as Llansantffraid FC prior to 1997/8.
Match-by-match player stats for season 1993/4 are largely unavailable.