Phew - a bit too close for comfort

Reporter:

Staff reporter (Border Counties)

JD WELSH CUP

TNS 2-1 Bangor City (AET)

By David Figg

Adrian Cieslewicz's late winner booked TNS’s passage into the Welsh Cup semi-finals – and avoided what would have been their first hat-trick of defeats since 2001.

City took the lead in the fourth minute of extra time through Henry Jones but Greg Draper equalised soon afterwards before Ciewslewicz’s late strike kept TNS’s hopes of a fourth consecutive Welsh Cup win alive.

The first chance of note came in the first five minutes when Daniel Nardiello ran on to a through ball before having his effort saved by Paul Harrison’s foot.

On 10 minutes, Simon Spender’s pass found the onside Jamie Mullan who pulled the ball back to Ryan Brobbel, only for the midfielder to fire well over the bar.

Six minutes later, Saints were within an ace of taking the lead when Aeron Edwards headed against the post from Chris Marriott’s free kick, while on the half-hour, Scott Quigley’s low left-footed effort was held by Connor Roberts.

There was controversy in the 38th minute when former Manchester United man Nardiello claimed a penalty after his progress was halted by Connell Rawlinson as he was about to shoot, but referee Tom Williams said ‘no’ and booked the 34-year-old for his protests.

The first chance of the second half came TNS’s way on 55 minutes, as Marriott fed Edwards but his shot was held by Roberts, who was called into action again a minute later when he blocked Quigley’s effort after he was found by Jon Routledge.

City had another good opportunity on 73 minutes when Yalan Baio found former Premier League striker Gary Taylor-Fletcher, but Harrison turned his 20-yard effort superbly round the post for a corner.

A minute later, Alex Darlington’s lofted ball found substitute Cieslewicz inside the box, but he fired into the side netting.

On 87 minutes, City were reduced to 10 men when Baio was sent off for a second yellow card after a trip in midfield, but the score remained 0-0 and extra-time was needed.

Bangor took the lead on 94 minutes when a free-kick from the left was flicked on by Anthony Miley and Jones crashed his left-foot shot home into Harrion’s left-hand corner from six yards out.

But in the 105th minute, Saints levelled when Brobbel’s through ball found sub Draper, who sent his first-time right-footed shot into Roberts’s left-hand corner.

More chances came TNS’s way with Spender, Brobbel and Draper all going close, but the game was won against the 10 men in the 117th minute when a through ball found Cieslewicz and his low right-footed effort from the edge of the box wrong-footed Roberts and into the net.

TNS: Harrison, Spender, Marriott, Routledge, Brobbel, Fletcher (Darlington 67), Mullan (Cieslewicz 67), Saunders, Rawlinson, Quigley (Draper 83), Edwards

Bangor: Roberts, Miley, Jackson, Allen, Nardiello (Cavanagh 83), Rittenberg, Yalany, Gossett, Taylor-Fletcher, Jones, Connolly (Branco (Aziamlae 103) 30)

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