Irn-Bru Cup Quarter Final
The New Saints 0
Queen of the South 0
(TNS win 4-3 on penalties)
The New Saints veteran keeper Paul Harrison was the hero as he pulled off two penalty shootout saves and scored one to send his side into the Irn-Bru Cup semi-finals.
The Park Hall side needed a shootout for the second time in this cup run as they were held to a goalless draw by Queen of the SAouth in a tight game.
Jamie Mullan could – and should have – given Saints the lead inside five minutes when he nipped in front of his marker but could only guide the ball onto the bar.
The visitors looked nervy, and Greg Draper nearly took advantage when he chased down Queen of the South keeper Alan Martin’s clearance, but the rebound trickled wide.
Draper thought he had made TNS’s good work count when he turned home Aaron Edwards’s cross-cum-shot on 11 minutes but he was flagged offside.
Former Everton man James McFadden showed his class when he controlled the ball 20 yards out on 18 minutes and floated a delicate chip onto the bar with Paul Harrison beaten.
Saints remained the dominant side as their Scottish visitors began to find their feet, though couldn’t find the breakthrough.
Jon Routledge had the first sight of goal minutes after the break, but his effort was too weak to trouble Martin.
South had their first sight of goal in the second period on 55 minutes but former Blackpool man Stephen Dobbie couldn’t connect with Shaun Rooney’s and Simon Spender cleared.
TNS continued to pile on the pressure with willing runners throughout the side, and it was Routledge’s forward run on 64 minutes that set-up Draper but he fired over.
Tom Holland was the right man in the right spot on 71 minutes as he perfectly-placed to divert Rooney’s header wide for a corner.
The right-back’s last act before limping off on 78 minutes was to fire a fierce effort over Harrison’s bar as South began to find their feet.
Connell Rawlinson was the last-gasp hero in the dying minutes as he pulled off the perfectly-timed tackle to stop Dobbie from snatching the win, as extra-time beckoned.
Edwards had the first sight of goal in extra time but he failed to get a decent direction and it floated harmlessly wide.
Dobbie missed the clearest chance yet to break the deadlock when he sprinted clear of TNS’s backline five minutes into extra-time but poked wide.
Ten minutes into the first period, Holland gave the ball away on the edge of the box and Dobbie’s effort was deflected wide via a combination of Rawlinson and Harrison.
McFadden, who was South’s best player, had a glorius chance to put them ahead on 109 minutes, but he dragged his effort horribly wide.
TNS hearts were in their mouths in the 111th minute as Harrison spilled Dobbie’s shot from 25 yards but Derek Lyle was offside as he followed up.
Neither side could make the breakthrough, with penalties left to decide the tie.
The first four were missed – Mullan and Brobbel for TNS and Lye and Dobbie for South – before late sub Christian Seargeant opened the scoring.
Kyle Jacobs levelled before Alex Darlington put TNS ahead, only for McFadden to equalise again.
Wes Fletcher and Callum Fordyce swapped penalties before Harrison slotted home, and then stood tall to palm Andrew Stirling’s kick away.
TNS: Harrison, Spender, Rawlinson, Leak, Marriott, Routledge, Brobbel, Holland (Seargeant 108), Edwards (Darlington 116), Mullan, Draper (Fletcher 71)
Subs not used: Jones, Parry, Roberts
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