Nathaniel MG Welsh League Cup

Cardiff Met 0


A second-half strike from Jamie Mullan was enough to give The New Saints a record-breaking fourth straight Nathaniel MG Welsh League Cup win.

Mullan, outstanding throughout for TNS, proved to be the difference in a clash largely dominated by the holders from Oswestry and gave Scott Ruscoe his first piece of silverware.

Saints came close to breaking the deadlock as early as three minutes in when Connell Rawlinson’s towering back-post header was cleared off the line.

TNS were dominant from minute one and should have been ahead in the eighth minute as Mullan – who signed a new deal last week – drove the ball across goal and Alex Darlington failed to connect, much to Ruscoe’s disbelief.

Saints continued to pile on the pressure after a series of corners and Aeron Edwards was next to miss the target as he fired over from 16 yards out on 18 minutes.

Cardiff were forced into an early change as Jordan Lam was replaced by Harry Owen before the half hour through injury.

But despite all their pressure, Saints needed the flag to come to their rescue when Dan Spencer’s cool left-footed finish past Paul Harrison was chalked off for offside on 34 minutes.

TNS continued to find success through Ryan Brobbel and Mullan down both flanks but couldn’t make it count as they headed into break goalless.

Edwards was next to miss from close distance when he couldn’t adjust his body to Simon Spender’s cross on 54 minutes and he fired over.

The Saints fans remained in good voice and were joined in the stands by TNS owner Mike Harris as his charges continued to dominate.

And the domination paid off as Saints’ danger man Mullan broke the deadlock on 64 minutes. 

Alex Darlington finally found his feet to hold the ball up and he fed Mullan, who chose to smash it home rather than square it and gave Saints a deserved lead.

The striker, who had struggled prior to his assist, could and have should have doubled Saints’ lead following wonderful play from Brobbel, but Darlington could only smash his volley against the post on 72 minutes.

Darlington made way on 78 minutes for debutant Irish striker Dean Ebbe, who signed from Bluebell United just 24 hours before kick-off.

Brobbel – who was quietly excellent as one of Saints’ creators – whipped in a vicious effort that just missed the right-hand post on 86 minutes.

With two minutes left on the clock, Mullan has the chance to repeat his effort but this time he fired wide from four yards out as Saints entered the final few moments.

Saints endured some nervy moments in the final few minutes but held on to win the cup.