TNS 5 FK Kauno Zalgiris 1 (10-1 agg) - Report

The New Saints booked a place in the UEFA Europa Conference League third qualifying round and went into the Cymru Premier history books with another five star victory over FK Kauno Zalgiris.

The New Saints’ Jordan Williams and Kauno Zalgiris’ Abdulgafar Opeyemi battle for the ball at Park Hall, Oswestry
The New Saints’ Jordan Williams and Kauno Zalgiris’ Abdulgafar Opeyemi battle for the ball at Park Hall, Oswestry

After a 5-0 demolition job in Lithuania, Anthony Limbrick’s men found themselves three up inside 25 minutes at Park Hall, thanks to goals from Danny Redmond, Declan McManus and Louis Robles.

Two second half goals from Leo Smith and Danny Davies made it double figures for the Saints and despite a late consolation from Michael Thuique, it was the biggest ever win by any Cymru Premier side in Europe.

Saints boss Limbrick called for another professional display despite their advantage, and his players answered his call as they replicated last week’s tempo and authority in the first period.

Chris Marriott won the ball high up the pitch and found McManus, who sold the defender a dummy before crashing the ball off the underside of the crossbar from 18 yards out. Minutes though and the Saints weren’t be denied, and if there were any lingering doubts from the first leg, then they were well and truely put to bed. The returning Redmond picked the ball up 20 yards from goal and fired a low left footed drive beyond the outstretching dive of Zalgiris keeper Deividas Mikelionis. Eight minutes later and the Saints were making things look easy as Robles took the ball down on the box, before firing past the helpless visiting stopper, leaving the Lithuanians waiting for the final whistle to blow so they could board their plane home.

And within 25 minutes it was becoming embarrassing for the visitors with Limbrick’s side putting a third home, as McManus headed home unmarked at the back post after Danny Davies’ inch perfect cross. It was an onslaught from TNS as Zalgiris were having to deal with wave out of wave of attack. Williams twice went close late in the half, drawing a superb ave out of Mikelionis, with Ryan Astles then nodding narrowly over the crossbar.

The visitors came out for the second period with more impetus, and Philip Otele rattled the woodwork with a cross come shot from a narrow angle.

However their bright spell wouldn’t last for long as the Saints again set about putting the Lithuanians to the sword.

They made it four through Smith, before Davies headed home for a third time in the tie 16 minutes from time to make it double figures.

Michael Thuique did give the Lithuanians a late consolation –but the evening was a night to celebrate for the Cymru Premier and for TNS’ as they now go on to face Czech side FC Viktoria Plzen in the next round.


TNS – Harrison, Marriott (Clark 77), K Davies, Astles, D Davies Cieslewciz 75), Routledge (Rees 75), Redmond (Cornish 67), Robles, Williams, Smith, McManus (Ebbe 67)

Subs not used – Roberts, Hudson, Bradford

FK Kauno Zalgiris - Mikelionis, Dapakus (Suwa 46), Otele, Vaitkunas, Thuique, David (, Abdulgafar 70), Sadauskas, Sesplaukis, Pilibaitis, Thicot, Shoko

Subs not used – Mickevicius, Putrius, Silkaitis, Naah.

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