Following their dramatic aggregate defeat to Shkendija in the Champions League qualifiers, The New Saints have a second chance at European success as they step into the Europa League second qualifying round.
The Saints were thumped 5-0 by the Macedonian champions, Shkendija in the first leg and Scott Ruscoe’s side were determined to redeem themselves in the second leg, although the expectations were unsurprisingly low.
But TNS put in a fiery performance at Park Hall in the second leg and almost made history as the first club to turn around a five goal deficit over two legs – but it ended 4-0 on the night which meant that the Saints were knocked out 5-4 on aggregate.
Dean Ebbe, Danny Redmond and Ben Cabango all netted in the first half, before Kurtis Byrne made it a thrilling finale with his late strike, but the all-important fifth goal didn’t come for Scott Ruscoe’s Saints.
The Welsh Premier League champions now turn their attentions to the Europa League, where Gibraltan champs Lincoln Red Imps await.
TNS saw off Gibraltan opposition Europa FC in last season’s Champions League qualifiers as they came out 4-3 winners on aggregate.
The first leg will be held at Park Hall on Thursday, 26 July – with the second leg to played at Victoria Stadium on Thursday, 2 August.
The winners will face Astana (Kazakhstan) or Midtjylland (Denmark) in the third round, with the first leg of the third round played on the 2nd of August.