Welsh Cup

Fourth round

The New Saints 4

Aberystwyth Town 0

Scott Ruscoe said his side’s impressive performance going forward against Aberystwyth Town was matched by their defensive efforts as they kept a clean sheet on Saturday.

Saints got off to a flying start as they took a two-goal lead within the opening 12 minutes of the afternoon.

The two first half goals were added to after the break when Ruscoe’s men scored twice again to put a four-goal gap between themselves and the visiting Aber side.

TNS did not have it all their own way however, as the back four and Paul Harrison were called into action on several occasions throughout the afternoon.

Ruscoe was quick to praise the defensive display, and said it was good to see quality on show at both ends of the pitch.

He said: “We played really well going forward, but also at the back.

“They had a few chances as well, so it was nice to get the clean sheet.

“At one point it wasn’t looking like we were going to because we cleared a few chances off the line, and they had a couple of set pieces they went close with.

“But overall, we’re happy with how it went; we had plenty of good opportunities to score and our football was very good also.”

Ryan Brobbel scored the opener in the fourth minute after showing good footwork and curling his effort into the far corner of the goal.

Kurtis Byrne, after going close in the 10th minute, helped the side double their lead in the 12th minute after threading a pass through to Danny Redmond who tapped home from close-range.

The first chance of note for Aber came in the 23rd minute, and required a last-ditch clearance by Keston Davies to prevent the ball from crossing the line.

The Seasiders threatened again 10 minutes later when they had another chance cleared off the line; this time, Chris Marriott made the vital block.

After the break, Paul Harrison was called into action to deny Matthew Jones, before Saints rushed up the pitch to add a third goal and all-but seal the win.

Brobbel turned provider for the third goal as he put the ball on a plate for Dean Ebbe who finished well.

Then, with 10 minutes to play, Greg Draper rounded off the win with a neat acrobatic finish.

The action did not finish there though, as Aberystwyth were awarded a penalty in the final few minutes of the game.

Determined not to concede, Harrison stood tall and denied Jones from the spot to keep a clean sheet and see his side through to the final whistle and the next round of the competition.

Ruscoe said he felt the early goals for TNS helped the side to a comfortable win.

“It obviously helps getting the first goal – it was an excellent, trademark finish by Ryan,” he said.

“That helped to settle us down a bit, and allowed us to push on and get that bit of a buffer with the second goal.

“We went in two goals up at the break, and then we knew coming out after the break that as soon as we got the third goal, the tie was almost over.

“They had a penalty which was a bit dubious at the end, but it was saved well. Although it was a cup game, it was nice to get a clean sheet.”

The result sees his side through to the fifth round of the competition as defending champions.

They will now turn their focus to the league as they prepare to face Newtown in their first phase two fixture of the season.

The game will take place at Park Hall Stadium on Friday, February 7 (kick-off 7.45pm).