Europa League, second qualifying round, first leg

TNS 2 Lincoln Red Imps 1

BLAINE Hudson’s late strike gave TNS first leg glory and maintained their unbeaten home record this season with victory over Lincoln Red Imps on Thursday.

The Oswestry club travel to the southern tip of Europe next week with a slender advantage but with lucrative progress to the third qualifying round in their grasp.

TNS celebrated a dream start with Dean Ebbe slotting home Jamie Mullan’s squared pass inside five minutes.

The Saints continued to press but failed to make their possession count with Mullan steering Chris Marriott’s cross wide before Aeron Edwards fired a low shot wide.

The Imps capitalised and levelled on 30 minutes with Joseph Chipolina rising above a packed goalmouth to head home Gamiz Morato’s wicked free-kick.

TNS were forced into changes by the break with goalscorer Ebbe making way for Greg Draper.

However the introduction of the New Zealander failed to provide the missing edge as the Saints continued to spurn their hard crafted opportunities.

Toward the end of the half Draper handed the Imps a fright with a lobbed effort which had goalkeeper Soler Ortuno scrambling back to save.

Ortuno kept the tie level from the resulting corner with a fine save to deny Edwards.

It was a similar story after the break with Mullan fluffing his lines from six yards after racing onto Marriott’s throughball.

Danny Redmond was denied by a goalline block from Ryan Casciaro after Draper carved open the Imps defence

The visitors almost snatched a shock lead with 10 minutes remaining only for goalkeeper Paul Harrison to Oscar Jiminez’ headed effort.

TNS heeded the warning and three minutes later Hudson steered home a cleverly headed ball into the goalmouth from Edwards to powerfully head home.

TNS: Harrison, Redmond (Ciezlewicz 88), Marriott, Holland, Routledge, Cabango, Edwards, Mullan, Hudson, Lewis, Ebbe (Draper 40). Subs: Spender, Brobbel, Nembhard, Byrne, Roberts

RED IMPS: Ortuno, Cerrillo, Chipolina (Santos), Garcia, Casciaro, Vincueria (Jiminez 64), Maroto, Garro, Hernandez, Romero, Paris (Anneslay 65). Subs; Casciaro. Hankins, Dos Santos, Valero, Vallejo.