UEFA Conference, second qualifying round, second leg

Swift Hesperange 3 TNS 2

(Swift Hesperange win 4-3 on aggregate)

THE New Saints saw their European adventure come to an end for another season following a slender second-leg defeat at the hands of Luxembourg hosts Swift Hesperange tonight.

The tie was evenly poised after last week's hard-fought 1-1 draw at Park Hall when goalkeeper Connor Roberts' penalty save had ensured the Luxemboug side went home frustrated.

However the home side led inside the opening two minutes as Dominik Stolz struck early at the Stade de Luxembourg.

The lively opening continued with the Saints denied by the woodwork twice in as many minutes as Rory Holden and Ryan Brobbel were left frustrated.

However the Saints were back on level terms after 22 minutes with Declan McManus converting from the spot to double his European goal tally for the season.

County Times: Action from TNS' defeat at Swift Hesperange.

Action from TNS' defeat at Swift Hesperange. Picture by Phil Blagg Photography.

Holden was brought down by Simao Martins in the area with McManus levelling from the spot.

The tie remainder of the half yielded few openings but it was the hosts who began the second-half the brighter and Rachid Alioui restored their lead on the hour after good work by Davis Spruds.


Ryan Astles' brave block denied Alioui a second moments later but the home side doubled their goal cushion on 66 minutes as Simao Martins struck after more good work from Spruds to leave the Welsh champions with a mountain to climb.

A second penalty from McManus with 20 minutes remaining after being brought down by goalkeeper Geordan Dupire set up a tense finale with TNS head coach Craig Harrison ringing the changes with a host of substitutions.

McManus curled wide before Danny Davies forced Dupire into action as the Saints piled on the pressure.

However the Saints could not muster an equaliser as their European aspirations came to end for another year.

SWIFT: Dupire, Ekofo, Jaime, Skenderovic (Marquez 88), Martens, Stolz (Ayongo 74), Morren, Couturier, Sacras (Spuds 35), Sinani, Alioui (Anoff 88)

TNS: Roberts, Marriott, Astles, Pesk, D Davies, Holden (Cieslewicz 80), Smith, Redmond (D Williams 72), Daniels (J Williams 67), McManus, Brobbel (Clark 67).