Saints-Alive! The Total Network Solutions Football Club website
CEN WALES SEN CUP
EUROPEAN CUP WINNERS CUP
FAW PREMIER CUP
UEFA CHAMPIONS LGE
May 9th 2004 at 12:00 Latham Park, Newtown
1 - 0 AET
The New Saints
WELSH CUP / Final
Scott Ruscoe gets up for a header as Jamie Brewerton looks on [Phil Blagg/County Times].
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SAINTS END SEASON EMPTY-HANDED
AN epic struggle on a Latham Park pudding ended with victory for arch-rivals Rhyl.
Deadlocked after 90 minutes, the game went into extra-time and there were just 44 seconds on the watch when the Lillies scored the crucial goal.
Chris McGinn beat defenders down the left hand side before crossing to Marc Limbert, whose first-time shot appeared to be going wide before Chris Taylor diverted it into the back of the net.
Within minutes, Saints had two golden chances to level. Barry Hogan found Mike Wilde who carved an opening for Simon Davies and when his shot rebounded off keeper Paul Smith, John Toner somehow blazed over the empty net.
Mike Wilde then worked a free header for Justin Perry, but he sent his effort against the post with the goal at his mercy and the ball rebounded safely into Smith's arms.
Taylor then came to the rescue after Limbert had dispossessed Ruscoe and put in Moran, before forcing Smith into a vital save at the other end in the dying seconds.
Rhyl had just about shaded normal time and twice hit the woodwork, although both sides were hit by the loss of key players.
Walters was stretchered off for Rhyl on the half hour, but more crucial was Saints' loss of the influential Martyn Naylor after just 19 minutes.
It left Saints exposed down one flank and Limbert exploited the space to good effect after 33 minutes, crossing for Gary Powell to send his shot against an upright.
With conditions making for a far more open game than the league meeting at Belle Vue, chances were on offer at both ends.
Steve Evans headed wide from a Simon Davies free-kick and Mike Wilde should have done better when clear on goal, but fired against Paul Smith's legs.
Rhyl nearly went ahead when Steve Evans diverted a Stuart Graves corner against his own crossbar under pressure from Mark Powell.
Richard Acton made a fine one handed save from Andy Moran's curling shot and Graves should have done better when McGinn cleverly back-heeled the rebound into his path.
But Saints should have finished Rhyl off in the final minutes of normal time.
John Toner beat the Rhyl back-line with a superb through ball, but Jamie Wood fired over with only keeper Smith to beat.
Two minutes later, Toner again put Wood in on goal only for Smith to save the striker's 12 yard shot.
In extra-time, Rhyl nearly went further ahead when substitute Michael Jackson beat Taylor only for his shot to cannon off a post.
And with the seconds ticking away, Paul Smith was Rhyl's hero as he brought off a superb one-handed save to palm away Taylor's header from a Ruscoe corner.
It completed a remarkable treble for Rhyl and ended a season of disappointment for Saints.
J A Collins
Chris Taylor, og (91)
Chris McGinn -> Steve Walters (32)
Chris Adamson -> Stuart Graves (82)
Michael Jackson -> Gary Powell (107)
Tim Edwards (115)
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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.