TNS 2 Barry TU 0

TNS manager Scott Ruscoe hailed evergreen striker Greg Draper after his side eased into the final of the JD Welsh Cup at Latham Park.

The former New Zealand international earned his first start since bagging five during an 8-1 demolition of Llandudno in the previous round - and he repaid his manager's faith in him by sweeping home early in the second half to break the deadlock against Barry.

"Greg came in because he did excellent in the last round, I just felt that he deserved the start," said Ruscoe.

"It's nice to be in another cup final, the Welsh Cup final this time. Last season was excellent and you couldn't really have asked for more after your first season in charge.

"The turnaround over the past few months has been excellent and you can just see when the lads go out on the pitch, there's an excitement about their play.

"If you look at the boys who aren't even involved on the bench, the lads who are out on loan who are here supporting the team, it's a fantastic squad we've got and it's a headache, but I prefer a headache of 22 fit players and keeping them out than scratching around saying 'who's going to make the bench?'"

The Oswestry side arrived at Latham Park with confidence having returned to the summit of the JD Welsh Premier while Barry painted the old stand and yellow and blue to create a superb cup atmosphere.

TNS fired an early warning shot when Chris Marriott turned home Ryan Brobbel’s free-kick only to be ruled offside.

The Saints continued to dictate the game with Brobbel’s 25 yard strike palmed into the path of Aeron Edwards by Barry goalkeeper Mike Lewis on 18 minutes only for the Wales C star to head over.

Barry heeded their warning and almost opened the scoring soon after when Kayne McLaggon struck the woodwork.

However it was the Saints who continued to ask the questions with Barry remaining resolute in defence to see out the half.

However TNS were ahead on the hour with Draper seizing upon a loose ball to lash home from eight yards and finally break the deadlock.

Barry settled and enjoyed their own spell of possession and almost culminated in an equaliser with seven minutes remaining.

McLaggon’s pass released Jon Hood who broke into the box and unleashed a low shot beyond the outreached arm of Saints goalkeeper Paul Harrison and onto the woodwork as TNS survived.

TNS settled their nerves and the cup tie with an injury-time strike from Jamie Mullan who was left with the goal at his mercy to steer home Brobbel’s left wing cross.

TNS: Harrison, Marriott, Hudson, Redmond, Lewis, Routledge, Holland, Mullan, Edwards, Brobbel, Draper. Subs: Roberts, Cieslewicz, Bodenham, Ebbe, Byrne