FAW Cup final

Connah’s Quay Nomads 0

The New Saints 3

A RYAN Brobbel double fired The New Saints towards their first league and FA Welsh Cup double since 2016.

Two almost identical free-kicks either side of half-time added to an early Greg Draper goal as Scott Ruscoe’s men breezed past rivals Connah’s Quay Nomads.

Saints had first sight of goal as early as the fifth minute, but in-form Brobbel could only steer his header wide.

But it was all they needed when Draper broke the deadlock, with the hotshot not going to miss from six yards put after John Danby could only push Adrian Cieslewicz’s effort on seven minutes.

Former TNS man Michael Wilde had Nomads’ first chance in the 13th minute but he could only drag wide, while seconds later, Callum Morris saw his effort blocked by Blaine Hudson for corner.

Andy Morrison’s men thought they were going to be awarded a stonewall penalty on 21 minutes, but referee David Morgan waved their appeals away.

Despite a strong spell for Nomads, it was the Saints who got the next goal of the game shortly after the 30-minute mark.

Brobbel sent his audacious free-kick from 30-yards out-wide over the head of Danby and into the top corner to make it 2-0.

Just five minutes later at the other end of the pitch, Michael Bakare attempted to emulate Brobbel’s effort from a free-kick out-wide on the right, forcing a good stop from Paul Harrison.

The last action of the half saw Nomads nearly score after a corner caused a scramble in the area ending with an overhead kick heading for the bottom corner, however Harrison was down quick to hold onto his clean sheet.

Nomads made a quick start to the second half as they came close to finding the net after just two minutes.

A lofted ball from the left-hand side of the pitch split the TNS centre-halves to find Jamie Insall whose flicked header was nearly guided into the net by ex-TNS forward Michael Wilde.

The pressure continued when John Disney hit a first-time strike towards goal from the edge of the area, but a block sent it narrowly wide for a corner.

TNS soaked up the early pressure and came close to scoring a third when some good build-up play saw Brobbel hit an effort from the edge of the area, forcing an excellent one-handed stop from the Nomads stopper.

On the hour-mark the Saints put the game to bed with Brobbel getting his second of the day.

A carbon-copy of his first goal – the player’s player and supporter’s player of the season curled a free-kick across to the far post and into the net to make it 3-0.

A second penalty shout for Nomads was waived away by the referee shortly after the Saints grabbed their third, as Insall was brought down just inside the area by Kane Lewis, prompting shouts from the Nomads’ supporters in attendance.

Nomads struggled to get many more clear-cut chances before the end of the game, with the Saints defence standing strong to keep a clean sheet.

Things went from bad to worse for Nomads after substitute Owens was given a second yellow card for simulation, after spending just 10 minutes on the pitch.

The referee’s final whistle was greeted by delight of the Saints fans in attendance as they began celebrating the league and cup double.

Nomads: Danby, Disney, Horan, Harrison, Morris, Wilde, Poole, Holmes, Owen (Barton 89), Bakare (Wignall 45), Insall (Owens 69)

Subs not used: Brass, Hughes

TNS: Harrison, Lewis (Spender 74), Bodenham, Hudson, Marriott (Nembhard 60), Routledge, Mullan, Cieslewicz, Brobbel, Draper (Ebbe 81)

Subs not used: Roberts, Spender, Byrne