Saturday 5th December
The New Saints 3 Aberystwyth Town 0
Facing the League Champions away with four key players unavailable through injury, suspension and ineligibility and illness was always going to be a momentous challenge for the Black and Greens, and so it was that The New Saints dominated Saturday's JD Welsh Cup Third Round tie, and progressed to the next round thanks to goals from Chris Marriott, Scott Quigley and Matty Williams.
Without Geoff Kellaway, Lee Surman, Jamie Reed and Jack Rimmer Manager Ian Hughes' options were severely limited, but his side did start in a disciplined manner. TNS' ninth minute opener was assisted by the strong wind blowing across the Park Hall pitch as Marriott's corner was gusted onto the crossbar before bouncing in off keeper Mike Lewis' shoulder. With the weather conditions strongly in their favour the hosts went on to dominate the opening half and Lewis made a spectacular save to deny Chris Seargeant's crisp volley soon after. Having defended stoutly Aber were again cursing their luck in the 26th minute when Seargeant's low shot deflected off Quigley to wrong foot Lewis in the goal and double the lead. Adrian Ciesliewicz and Quigley saw shots blocked, while at the other end Cledan Davies sent in two testing crosses which Aber could not convert. The Black and Greens were glad to see Matty Williams' goal chalked off for offside, and then Stuart Jones' goalbound header from an Antonio Corbisiero free kick was gathered by Paul Harrison, before the half time whistle went with the scoreboard at 2-0.
The visitors of course enjoyed more of the ball after the break and almost got themselves right back into it. Ross Stephens worked hard to earn a free kick, and Craig Williams picked out Chris Venables, whose glancing header was sneaking into the far post, only for Harrison to pull out an astonishing finger tip save to deny the two time WPL Golden Boot Holder. Ciesliewicz was again denied by Lewis but then the outcome was settled on 67 minutes when Simon Spender's ball in from the right was nodded home by Williams to give TNS a three goal cushion. Quigley was flagged offside before hitting the net with a low strike, and Aeron Edwards drew an excellent save from Lewis before Ciesliewicz again shot wide, and the game was done.
Although the Black and Greens defended stoutly for long periods and created a couple of good opportunities, on the balance of play it has to be said that TNS deserved their three goal victory yesterday, and Aber will certainly be hoping for better fortunes when they revisit Park Hall on Friday night for a Dafabet Welsh Premier League Clash (ko 7.45pm).