Saints repeat League Cup final score
THE New Saints started their defence of the League Cup by repeating last season's final success with 2-0 win over Bangor City at Farrar Road in their first group game.
Goals in each half from Steve Abbott and Jamie Wood sealed the victory in a game where the Saints were generally on top.
Both sides rested key players, with skipper Marc Limbert and defender Dave Morley absent for the hosts, and TNS starting with John McKenna in the centre of defence and Ryan Marriott on the right.
And it was a pinpoint cross from Marriott that provided the opening for Abbott to send a glancing header past keeper Paul Smith to open the scoring on 35 minutes.
Earlier, Smith had been forced to tip over a McKenna header from a Craig Williams cross, while Wood was just wide of the target after a last-ditch tackle from Peter Hoy.
The Saints could have added two more before the break, Smith producing an excellent save to divert a Danny Holmes piledriver from 25 yards and Marriott seeing his shot blocked.
Bangor had their best spell early in the second half and a slip by Phil Baker, who was otherwise superb against his former club, allowed Chris Sharp to send a dangerous cross to the far post, where McKenna was relieved to clear the ball to safety.
Smith produced another good save to deny Wood, but sub Matthew Berkeley made an immediate impact with two surging runs, the second of which saw him outpace Michael Johnston before crossing to give Wood a simple chance to close out the game.