TNS carry the familiar expectation to win into tonight’s second-leg in San Marino
The New Saints kick-off the week’s four European second-leg ties involving Welsh Premier League clubs tonight (7.30) in the knowledge that there will be no margin for error against the Sammarinese underdogs.
TNS, as expected, dominated proceedings back at Park Hall a week ago but were only able to take a 2-1 lead into the away leg with Tre Penne scoring a significant away goal which tied the game up, before Jamie Mullan scored a decisive second goal for the Saints.
Despite the slender scoreline, Craig Harrison was satisfied with his side’s dominance and the amount of chances they created but as the second-leg approaches, that Tre Penne away goal will be a thorn in the side for the TNS boss.
The fear is that should Tre Penne find a way to frustrate and deny TNS and then look to snatch a goal of their own, the game would become level on aggregate with the hosts’ crucial away goal giving them the advantage.
TNS are, of course, no strangers to carrying an expectation to win – they do so 32 times a year in the Welsh Premier League. The best approach for the WPL champions this evening would be to come out of the traps quickly, dominate at tempo and cancel out Tre Penne’s away goal advantage as early as possible to prevent the hosts from being able to settle and build momentum.
The moment TNS find a breakthrough in the San Marino Stadium will be the moment that the slight element of uncomfortableness about this tie becomes removed, and TNS should then be well-equipped to go on and put the tie beyond reach of Tre Penne.
Only then can TNS and owner Mike Harris become a little more at ease and start to think of a second qualifying round clash with APOEL Nicosia.
Best of luck to The New Saints tonight!
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