Kauno Zilgiris 0 TNS 5

THE New Saints all but sealed their place in the third qualifying round with an emphatic first leg win in Lithuania tonight.

Hosts Kauno Zilgiris had awaited the Oswestry side who travelled to the Baltics fresh from their second qualifying round second leg win over Glentoran.

Despite having just four days to prepare and travelling 1,490 miles it was the Welsh club which dominated with four goals in a phenomenal first-half.

Leo Smith and new signing Declan McManus goals sank Glentoran at Park Hall on Thursday to seal a 3-1 aggregate win and a trip to Marijampole.

The duo once again played a prominent role with both on target, in Smith's case for his fourth consecutive European game, while new signing Danny Davies also opened his account with a double.

McManus released Smith to calmly slot past the advancing Deividas Mikelionis inside the opening eight minutes to give the Saints a dream start.

The tie remained open with both sides enjoying spells of pressure but it was not until the 33rd minute that Linas Pilibaitis forced TNS stopper Paul Harrison into action.

Barely a minute later and the Saints doubled their lead with Chris Marriott's accurate free-kick headed home by Davies.

Five minutes later and Davies doubled his tally after steering home a header back into the area from Marriott after the home defence failed to clear Smith's corner.

Two minutes later McManus completed a decisive seven minute spell after pouncing on a lapse between Karolis Šilkaitis and Egidijus Vaitkuna to slot home.

With the hard work done the Saints had the luxury of defending a four goal lead in the second-half.

Deividas Sesplaukis fired wide while Michael Thuique's header forced Harrison into action before Guilherme de Souza saw an effort ruled offside as the home side looked to find a foothold in the tie after the break.

TNS weathered the pressure and were rewarded for a professional display with three minutes remaining with summer signing Jordan Williams lashing a low drive home via the woodwork to open his account for the club and all but seal their place in the next round.

Kauno Zalgiris: Mikelionis, de Souza, Dapkus (Sadauskus 71), Thicot, Vaitkunas, Naah, Kloniunas (David 46), Silkaitis, Sesplaukis, Pilibaitis (Thuique 63), Otele (Abdulgafar 84). Subs: Mickevicius, Vilkas, Suwa, Putrius, Vinkus.

TNS: Harrison, Marriott, K Davies, Routledge, McManus (Ebbe 78), Cieslewicz (Rees 71), Robles (Williams 71), Clark (Cornish 84), Smith, D Davies. Subs: Roberts, Redmond, Baker, Bradford.