Stenhousemuir 1 TNS 1: Smith is spot-kick hero to deny New Saints

It was the sweet taste of shootout success for Stenhousemuir as they booked their spot in the fourth round of the Tunnock's Caramel Wafer Challenge Cup with a dramatic win over Welsh Premier side The New Saints.

Sunday, 8th September 2019, 10:19 pm
Thomas Halleran was a stand-out for Stenny. Picture: Alan Murray

Keeper Graeme Smith was the hero for the Warriors, producing several fine saves through the match to keep his side in it, before making a trio of stops from the spot.

It was Stenny who enjoyed the game's first meaningful effort when Kieran Anderson fired a speculative shot from 35 yards over the top with visiting keeper Paul Harrison scrambling.

TNS spurned a glorious opportunity soon afterwards when neat play in midfield sent Greg Draper through on goal, but he blazed well over.

The Ochilview crowd lapped up the celebrations after a dramatic afternoon.

Stenny were next to threaten on 33 minutes when Anderson burst through the TNS defence with an excellent run before his finish from a tight angle was blocked by keeper Harrison.

But the best chance of the opening half fell to Aeron Edwards for the visitors.The midfielder rushed into the box after good build-up play on the edge of the box, but his prod towards goal was repelled by a brilliant one-handed stop from Smith.

Stenny had worked hard against their full-time opponents and got the perfect reward just two minutes into the second half.

Liam Scullion dug out a teasing cross down the right which evaded the visiting defence and Anderson was on hand to nod home from close range.

Anderson scored the Warriors' opener. Picture: Alan Murray

The visitors nearly struck back ten minutes later when a neat ball was threaded through to Kurtis Byrne, whose shot was saved by Smith, before the rebound from Ryan Brobbel trundled just wide of the post.

But their efforts to equalise were dealt a blow when substitute Simon Spender pulled up just minutes after coming on and with the Welsh side having used all three subs, they were forced to finish with ten men.

Despite the numerical disadvantage, TNS continued to control the game and made their pressure count with the equaliser with four minutes remaining.

Brobbel produced an excellent weaving run down the left before working his way across the box and sliding a shot past the helpless Smith from 18 yards.

New signing Wullie Gibson made an appearance. Picture: Alan Murray

That took the game to penalties and it was Smith who was the hero again as he saved three of TNS' four kicks, while successful efforts from Munro, Watters and Hopkirk secured an excellent win for Stenny.