ROUGH JUSTICE ON PLUCKY GLANTRAETH
TNS eventually ran out comfortable winners of this Welsh Cup quarter-final.
But the final 4-1 score-line hardly did justice to the plucky Cymru Alliance outfit from Glantraeth, who matched Saints for an hour and took the lead after 37 minutes.
Saints' boss Ken McKenna was forced to reshuffle his pack, after defender Jimmy Aggrey was held up in traffic, which also delayed the visitors’ arrival until half an hour before kick-off.
And his makeshift back-line was caught napping when Tommy Holmes’s attempted clearance from a Kevin Roberts shot rebounded off Martyn Naylor to Richard Owen, who drilled a low shot from 12 yards across Gerard Doherty into the far corner.
Striker Michael Wilde had an off-day for Saints, although he was unlucky when a first-half shot came off the post straight into keeper Pritchard’s arms.
TNS stepped up the tempo after the break, but Wilde was again off-target as he headed over from Scott Ruscoe’s cross and then missed from in front of goal after good work down the right by Jamie Wood.
But Saints got back on level terms on the hour, when Steven Beck seized on a headed clearance from Ryan Davies to burst past a Glantraeth defender and blast home a screamer from the edge of the box.
Superior fitness began to tell as the game wore on and both substitute strikers had cause to celebrate goals after a long absence from the score-sheet.
First, John Toner fed the impressive Naylor on the right and Justin Perry got sufficient power on his cross to head Saints in front.
Toner then had a hand in two goals, being brought down in the box by Kevin Roberts for Jamie Wood to put away a spot kick.
Toner himself then put Saints out of sight with a fourth, when he latched on to a good through ball from Chris King to send his shot against the Glan keeper before tucking his first goal since September away at the second attempt.
Manager Ken McKenna said: “They defended brilliantly and you thought it was going to be one of those days.
“But we had a few words at half-time, reorganised ourselves and it was just a matter of getting that goal back.”