Saints alive as cup defence is still on

The New Saints 2 – 0 Port Talbot Town

Gary Bansor returned to the starting line-up for Mark Jones side for this 2nd Leg Semi-Final match in the Loosemores Solicitors Challenge Cup. Port Talbot Town had held The New Saints to a 0-0 draw in the 1st Leg and entered the match with a slight advantage having prevented their opponents from gaining an away goal.

Port Talbot started brightly with Martin Rose finding himself in space in the area during the opening exchanges but the home side quickly settled into the match and dominated possession. Port Talbot struggled to retain the ball and on 22 minutes The New Saints opened the scoring as a long ball over the top was latched onto by Barry Hogan and he made no mistake with a well taken finish to open the scoring.

Port Talbot were despondent after the goal and eight minutes later a foul in the area by goalkeeper Lee Kendall handed The New Saints a penalty and Scott Ruscoe stepped up to score his sides second goal of the game. Port Talbot now needed two goals to progress to the final but the side came close to pulling a goal back before half-time but the ball rebounded off the post.

As the second half progressed the match seemed to pass Port Talbot by as they struggled to keep the ball while The New Saints rarely wasted possession and prevented Port Talbot from creating any real chances on goal. While Kendall was rarely troubled in the second half The New Saints already had the advantage required and as frustrations grew for the visitors a number of yellow cards were issued by referee Kevin Morgan. The New Saints held on for a comfortable win to claim their place in the Final against Rhyl while Port Talbot Town manager Mark Jones was left frustrated by his teams performance after what had been an impressive Challenge Cup run.

The New Saints

Team – Paul Harrison, Danny Holmes, Chris Marriott, Phil Baker, Steve Evans, Barry Hogan, Scott Ruscoe, Aeron Edwards, Steve Abbott, Christian Seargeant, Jamie Wood

Subs – Matthew Berkeley (rep Holmes – 46), Craig Williams (rep Edwards – 54), Alex Darlington (rep Abbott – 83)

Yellow Cards – Alex Darlington (86) Red Cards – None

Goalscorers – Barry Hogan (22), Scott Ruscoe (30) (p)

Port Talbot Town

Team – Lee Kendall, Leigh De-Vulgt, Scott Barrow, Gareth Phillips, Gary Bansor, Lee Surman, Drew Fahiya, Neil Thomas, Martin Rose, Liam McCreesh, Daniel Thomas

Subs – Lee John (rep McCreesh – 72), Lloyd Grist (rep D.Thomas – 63), Matthew Rees (rep De-Vulgt – 85)

Yellow Cards – Lee Kendall (29), Daniel Thomas (43), Lee Surman (60), Liam McCreesh (68), Neil Thomas (73) Red Cards – None

Goalscorers – None

Attendance – 248

Referee – Mr Kevin Morgan

Loosemores Solicitors Challenge Cup

Semi-Final 2nd Leg

Wednesday, 18th November 2009

At Park Hall Stadium, Oswestry

The New Saints 2-0 Port Talbot Town

Goalscorers

The New Saints

Barry Hogan (22)

Scott Ruscoe (30) (p)

Port Talbot Town

None

Referee – Mr Kevin Morgan

15th November 2009 – Western Mail

Saints alive as cup defence is still on

Loosemores League Cup holders The New Saints reached their second successive final following a hard fought semi final victory over Port Talbot at Park Hall. Saints had done the spadework in a goalless first leg encounter at the GenQuip Stadium and now meet twice winners and great rivals Rhyl in the final of the competition. The game turned the hosts way in the opening half hour as they forged their two goal lead through Barry Hogan and Scott Ruscoe. Hogan netted in the 21st minute when he was set free by Steve Abbott and had the composure to lob the advancing Lee Kendall from just inside the box. And Ruscoe converted from the spot nine minutes later after he had been brought down by Kendall, Aeron Edwards the engineer of the opening. The visitors, who have been in a great run of form recently, twice went close through Neil Thomas early in the second half but the deficit was too great against a solid TNS defence who held them at bay.