JD Welsh Cup
The New Saints 3
Gap Connahs Quay 0
TNS hopes of a third consecutive treble remained alive after beating old adversaries Gap Connahs Quay in their JD Welsh Cup semi-final in Bangor on Saturday.
Not only did Craig Harrison’s side avenge their 2-1 league defeat at the hands of the Nomads last month but the Saints also continued their bid to win the Welsh cup for a fourth consecutive year.
The Deesiders fired an early warning shot with veteran George Horan firing over the bar.
TNS came into the game with Chris Seargeant’s free-kick testing goalkeeper Jon Danby on 18 minutes while five minutes later Routledge fired wide.
The Saints survived a let off when Jay Owen’s 33rd minute effort cannoned back off the bar.
TNS continued to struggle to unlock an organised Connahs Quay defence with Draper and Adrian Cieslewicz failing to capitalise on rare openings.
TNS should have led on 65 minutes when their pressure finally told when Mullan was impeded in the area by Jon Disney but Seargeant’s resulting spot kick was saved by Danby.
However the penalty miss proved to be the turning point and within 10 minutes the tie was over as a contest.
It took until the 71st minute for the Saints to lead when Mullan ran down the right and beat Sean Smith before cutting into the box and crossing low for Cieslewicz to fire home from two yards.
Just three minutes later it was all over when Steve Saunders’ long through ball down the right found Aeron Edwards who turned and linked with Draper before firing home
TNS settled their semi-final triumph in the 81st minute when Cieslewicz’s low through ball on the right found Jon Routledge on the edge of the centre circle to release Chris Marriott to race through and fire past Danby with the Saints reward a final date against Bala Town at the end of the month.
TNS: Harrison, Spender, Marriott, Routledge, Seargeant, Draper, Mullan, Saunders, Rawlinson, Cieslewicz, Edwards. Subs: Wycherley, Brobbel, Darlington, Quigley, Jones.
Meanwhile a Caernarfon Town side including Mid Wales duo Alex Ramsay and Jamie Breese slipped to a 3-1 defeat in Rhyl at the hands of Chris Venables’ Bala Town who celebrated reaching their first ever Welsh Cup Final.
• Ramsey, from Llanfyllin, and Newtown-based Breese, helped the underdogs push Bala all the way before two late goals clinched the Lakesiders progress.