Shropshire Star

TNS hit back to book final spot

Declan McManus led the way with a hat-trick as The New Saints hit back from 2-0 down to book their place in the JD Welsh Cup final with a 6-2 victory over Cardiff Metropolitan University.


Tom Vincent scored twice as Cardiff Met opened up an advantage in Saturday’s semi-final played at Newtown’s Latham Park.

McManus gave Saints hope by pulling a goal back from the penalty spot just before the interval.

The striker quickly completed his hat-trick after the restart as Saints moved ahead, with a Brad Young double and a late Adrian Cieslewicz goal sending TNS further clear.

Cup holders Saints will now face Connah’s Quay Nomads in the final at League Two club Newport County’s Rodney Parade on Sunday, April 28 as they chase a domestic treble.

Having seen their long 26-match winning run in all competitions ended by defeat against Airdrieonians in the SPFL Trust Trophy final in their previous game, Saints found themselves trailing 2-0 after 37 minutes against Cardiff Met.

Striker Vincent was twice on target, powering home a header for the opener, before drilling in a well-struck second to double the advantage.

JD Cymru Premier champions Saints needed a response and it arrived just before the break as McManus converted a penalty awarded for a challenge by Chris Craven on Jordan Williams.

Within 12 minutes of the second half getting under way, Saints had completed a rapid turnaround as two more goals from McManus gave them a 3-2 lead.

After volleying an equaliser high into the net to pull the Park Hall side level, McManus swept home a pass from Williams for his hat-trick.

Saints extended their advantage to 4-2 in the 62nd minute, with Young on target from the penalty spot after he picked himself up to score after a challenge from Joe Evans.

Saints continued to look for further goals and added two more in the closing stages.

Young ran on to a pass from Josh Daniels for his second of the game, and there was still time for substitute Cieslewicz to add a sixth for the Saints, turning home the rebound after goalkeeper Alex Lang had initially kept out a Dan Williams effort.

Saints, who remain unbeaten in the league, resume their JD Cymru Premier campaign at home to Caernarfon Town on Friday night.

TNS: Roberts, Daniels, D. Davies, Marriott, Redmond, Holden (D. Williams), Smith, Clark (Cieslewicz), Young, McManus, J. Williams. Subs not used: Hudson, Baker, Jones.