SCOTT Quigley’s wonder goal has given The New Saints a glimmer of hope for next week’s Champions League First Qualifying second leg against FC Europa.
The Saints lost their tough first leg clash at Park Hall as goals from Europa's Alex Quillo and Kike either side of Quigley’s goal gave them the 2-1 win.
The visitors took a shock lead inside eight minutes when Quillo tapped home six yards out from Kike’s cross as Europa grabbed a vital away goal.
TNS thought they had a penalty when referee Barbeno Luca blew his whistle on 17 minutes, but it was to brandish a yellow card at Ryan Pryce for simulation when he went down under a challenge.
The Saints were struggling to find their rhythm during a stop-start second half, with Europa happy to let them have the ball in the middle third.
Connell Rawlinson joined Pryce in the book as he was deemed to have dumped Kike on the floor on 27 minutes, much to the home side’s disgust.
Saints levelled a minute before the break when Quigley showed firstly a superb piece of skill to flick the ball over his head but then the composure to absolutely smash home from 18 yards out with his right foot.
Both sides traded blows in the early stages of the second half, with Quigley forcing a corner 10 minutes in and Gibraltan international Liam Walker testing Saints keeper Paul Harrison.
Saints striker Adrian Cieslewicz was the third home man to have his name taken, shown a yellow card on the hour for pulling back Walker as TNS grew frustrated.
The Faroe Islander was replaced by Alex Darlington on 68 minutes and Greg Draper for scorer Quigley five minutes later as Ruscoe looked to force a breakthrough lead to take to Portugal next week.
Kike turned provider to scorer on 78 minutes when he found himself in oceans of space to curl home from 18 yards out to restore Europa’s lead, much to the dismay of the 1,148 crowd.
The Spaniard nearly put the tie out of Saints’ grasp when he hit the bar with minutes remaining.
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