The New Saints
4 - 1
Scottish Challenge Cup (Quarter Final)
Ben Clark (29)
Brad Young (37)
Brad Young (85)
Adrian Cieslewicz (80)
Jay Bird (9)
Danny Davies for Rory Holden (35)
Adrian Cieslewicz for Ben Clark (65)
Jess Norey for Kenan Dünnwald-Turan (74)
Keaghan Jacobs for Mark Stowe (77)
|Jordan Williams (45)||
Darren Lyon (20)
David Gold (77)
Bryn Markham-Jones (Referee)
The New Saints reached the semi-finals of the SPFL Trust Trophy for the third time following a 4-1 victory against Scottish Championship side, Arbroath.
Craig Harrison’s side had to come from behind to do so following Jay Bird’s ninth-minute goal, but a Brad Young brace and strikes from Ben Clark and Adrian Cieslewicz made it another afternoon to remember.
Falkirk now await the JD Cymru Premier champions, with the semi-final due to be played at the Falkirk Stadium on the weekend of February 3/4th 2024.
It was Arbroath who almost broke the deadlock with four minutes played, but a great save from Connor Roberts denied Michael McKenna down at the near post.
Moments later, Roberts was called into action again, this time to deny Jay Bird with a strong right hand.
The visitors from Scotland were dominating the ball in the early stages, and Bird made no mistake at the second time of asking, as he fired his side into a ninth-minute lead following a mazy run into the penalty area.
Falling behind proved to be a wake-up call for The New Saints, and they began to grow into the game as the half wore on.
It took until the 27th minute for The Saints to draw level, however, and it was a superb team move which led to the goal.
Following a spell of possession, a deft back heel from Brad Young set Clark on his way into the penalty area and the Academy graduate showed great composure to slot the ball beneath the outrushing Derek Gaston.
Then, in the 37th minute, Harrison’s side flipped the match completely on its head, as Brad Young sent an effort into the far corner after beating the covering defender inside the penalty area.
The Saints were banging on the door at that stage, and moments later, Jordan Williams slammed a left-footed effort against the crossbar.
Picking up where they left off following the restart, Ryan Astles called Gaston into action with a powerful header following a corner.
TNS continued to cause problems for their Scottish visitors, and Arbroath’s Colin Hamilton made an important headed interception in the 57th minute to prevent Young from going one-on-one with the goalkeeper.
In the 61st minute, it was Leo Smith’s turn to fire wide, before Kenan Dunnwald-Turan had a good chance to bring the Smokies level from the edge of the box two minutes later.
Arbroath’s number 62 threatened again in the 66th minute, as he took the ball around Connor Roberts, but the angle was against him and he could only find a TNS defender with his cut-back.
The visitors were looking dangerous as the game reached its latter stages, but 10 minutes from time, The Saints gave themselves a comfortable cushion thanks to substitute, Adrian Cieslewicz.
Some good hold up work from Brobbel allowed the Northern Ireland under-21 international to pick out Cieslewicz on the edge of the penalty area, and the number 11 sent the ball into the top right corner with a shot at the first time of asking.
If that wasn’t that as far as the result was concerned, the match was put to bed in the 85th minute when Brad Young added a second of the afternoon after great work from Jordan Williams.
4-1 is how it ended at Park Hall, and The New Saints booked their spot in the last four of the SPFL Trust Trophy for the third time as a result.
Match report written by https://www.tnsfc.co.uk/
|Derek Gaston (GK)||36||16||-||156||-|
|Keaghan Jacobs (sub)||34||10||-||30||-|
|Jess Norey (sub)||22||6||-||6||-|
No league table has been added for this season.