IT was a tough night at Y Morfa, but The New Saints did enough to book their place in the fourth round of the JD Welsh Cup with victory against Conwy Borough.
Dean Ebbe’s 35th-minute header was the difference between the two sides, as Anthony Limbrick’s side navigated a tricky banana skin against lower-level opposition.
It was Ebbe who had the first chance of the match, forcing Conwy goalkeeper, Rory Crowther, into a save with nine minutes played.
Declan McManus fired wide just a minute later, before the Scottish striker watched a powerful effort come back off the crossbar in minute 20.
Anthony Limbrick’s side continued to knock on the door, and Ebbe came agonisingly close to glancing in the opener five minutes later.
Crowther was again called into action in the 27th minute, pulling off a smart save to deny the dangerous McManus, before Corrig McGonigle sent Conwy’s best chance wide down the other end.
The opening goal finally arrived in the 35th minute and it was Dean Ebbe who scored it. He climbed highest to head home Ryan Brobbel’s corner, and scored his second goal in as many Welsh Cup games in the process.
Brobbel himself went close three minutes later, before TNS penalty appeals were turned down before the break, meaning the sides went in with just the one goal separating them.
Following the restart, Brobbel again went close on a couple of occasions, with a cross from the left in the 61st minute, which almost crept into the far corner, the closest the number eight came to doubling the advantage.
Limbrick’s team thought they’d made it 2-0 10 minutes later, putting the ball into the back of the net from another corner on the far side, only for referee, Nick Pratt, to pull play back for a foul on the goalkeeper.
As a result, the ending of the game was a nervy one for the team in black, and Conwy’s Connor Davies almost snatched an equaliser with just seconds to go.
A superb save from Connor Roberts made the difference though, as the TNS goalkeeper prevented the dreaded penalty shootout, and booked his side’s place in Monday’s fourth-round draw.