Europa League Third Qualifying Round

Second Leg

The New Saints 0

Ludogorets Razgrad 4

(Agg 0-9)

The New Saints's European campaign is over for another for another 12 months after they were comfortably again by Ludogorets Razgrad in the Europa League on Thursday.

Goals from Jakub Swierczok, who scored in either half, and one for Jody Lukoki, with a Dan Biton special in stoppage time, were enough to ease the Bulgarians into the Europa League play-off round.

Scott Ruscoe's side knew the odds were against them after trailing 5-0 from the first leg, but his side gave a far better impression of themselves that seven days ago.

After a positive start from Saints, it was the Bulgarian visitors who had the first sight of goal when in the 10th minute, Stephane Badji screwed his 18-yard effort wide.

Razgrad were getting closer to the opener, with Saints – as they were seven days ago in Bulgaria – the creators of their own pressure, as Danny Redmond losing possession, before the ball found Swierczok who could only fire over.

The visitors had claims for a penalty waived away on 28 minutes, with Stanislav Manolev convinced he had been felled in the box by Keston Davies, but Estonian ref Kristo Tohver said no.

Ludogorets eventually broke the deadlock on 36 minutes when Swierczok, faced up by four Saints defenders, moved the ball out of his feet and finished inside Paul Harrison's near post.

The big striker could – and should – have had his and his side's second on 40 minutes but he could only slice Wanderson's cross across the box when it was easier to score.

But the visitor's lead was doubled moments later when Lukoki gathered the ball on the rebound and slotted past Harrison.

The Saints did come close on the stroke of half-time but lone striker Dean Ebbe was beaten to the ball, with Mr Tohver blowing up immediately on the 45 minutes.

The second half came with a change of formation for TNS, with Ryan Harrington abandoning his central defending duties for a spell in midfield, as Ruscoe aimed to go out with a flourish.

Ryan Brobbel came closest for the Saints when Ebbe dispossessed Dragos Grigore, who then comically fell over looking for a foul, but the midfielder could only snatch at his shot.

Just after the hour, TNS threatened again, with Aeron Edwards narrowly missing Chris Marriott's cross while Jamie Mullans's return was deflected away.

Brobbel was missing his shooting boots, as on 63 minutes, his free-kick from 22 yards flew high and wide.

But the former Northern Irish under-21 man soon found his range on 72 minutes, forcing Renan into a fine save.

However, Razgrad soon raced up the other end from the TNS corner and it was left to Marriott to brilliantly clear off the line.

But their hard work in the second period was undone on 77 minutes when Swierczok headed home unmarked, steering the ball past a stranded Harrison.

Renan, largely a bystander all night, was again called into action with nine minutes left when he smothered Kurtis Byrne's effort from Blaine Hudson's knockdown.

TNS had the ball in the net on 85 minutes – sub Billy Whitehouse's sublime across-the-box delivery was turned home by Bryne, after Edwards missed, but both men were flagged offside.

Moments later, Harrison made a fine stop low to his left as the game opened up.

Bitsub on added a fourth late on as he smashed home from distance to rub salt in the wounds.

Ruscoe's men will turn their attentions to their Cymru Premier defence against Caernarfon Town on Sunday

TNS: Harrison, Lewis, Davies, Hudson, Harrington, Marriot, Edwards, Redmond, Mullan (Whitehouse 74), Brobbel (Ciewslewicz 78), Ebbe (Bryne 68). Subs: Roberts, Spender, Draper, Nembhard.