Shropshire Star

The New Saints edge past Guilsfield to reach Nathaniel MG Cup final

The New Saints edged past giant killers Guilsfield to reach the final of the Nathaniel MG Cup.


Nathan Leonard’s Cymru North had already dumped out Newtown and Bala Town on their way to setting up a clash with near border neighbours TNS at Clos Mytton.

The question was whether they could do it against the professional outfit - and for large parts of Tuesday nights clash in front of a 350 strong crowd, they matched the Saints.

However, Jordan Williams followed up a first half backheel with a close range strike in the second half.

The Saints boss Craig Harrison picked a strong side against the Villagers, who are currently just outside the top half of the Cymru North table, with only regulars Ryan Brobbel and star striker Brad Young left on the bench.

And for large parts of the first period the Saints had become frustrated with the home side’s resolute defending.

It looked as though the Saints were struggling somewhat with the surface, and the Guils defended doggedly.

TNS were having all the possession without creating any real chances, with the home side unable to build any sort of attack when turning over the ball.

However, they did have arguably the best chance of the half on 35 minutes.

A long throw in from Chris Cathrall was only half cleared by the visiting defence, with the ball dropping to Callum Bromley on the edge of the box - but he could only blaze high over the bar.

The Guils rear guard held firm until the 42nd minute - when it was breached in pretty scruffy fashion.

A cross into the box was palmed out by keeper Robbie Williams, but the home side failed to clear and a Williams backheel from six yards out deflected off a defender and into the net.

The second half was much like the first, with the Saints having all the pressure without being able to carve out any real clear cut chances.

They were putting corners and balls into the box but the Guils defence held firm and wasn’t giving much away.

The Saints pressure ramped up as the game went on and 14 minutes from time they did manage to get a second and put breathing space between the two sides.

Home keeper Williams failed to deal with a Chris Marriott cross and the ball fell kindly for TNS winger Williams to hook home his second goal of the game.

But Leonard’s side didn’t give up the challenge.

Iwan Matthews tried an audacious chip as he spotted Saints keeper Connor Roberts off his line but he dragged it narrowly wide of the mark.

With six minutes to go they were handed an even bigger chance to set up a nervy finish - when Josh Daniels bundled Jake Cook over in the box and they were awarded a spot kick.

But Matthews’ tame penalty was saved by Roberts.