Rhys McCabe’s Airdrieonians Defeat TNS To Savour SPFL Trust Trophy Success

Rhys McCabe’s Airdrieonians Defeat TNS To Savour SPFL Trust Trophy Success

By Callum McFadden at the Falkirk Stadium

Airdrieonians 2-1 The New Saints

McStravick, 22              Clark, 12

Todorov, 67 (P)

Airdrieonians won the SPFL Trust trophy in a tense encounter at the Falkirk stadium as they defeated Welsh champions The New Saints.

The New Saints started the game with real intent and came close to breaking the deadlock inside the opening four minutes when Brad Young spurned a glorious chance from close range following good wing play by Jordan Williams.

However, TNS goalkeeper Connor Roberts also had to be alert in the ninth minute when he parried a chipped effort by Adam Frizzell away from goal.

The Welsh champions did not have to wait much longer for the breakthrough as they took the lead twelve minutes into the game when Ben Clark rifled a shot into the roof of the Airdrie net from close range.

They nearly doubled their lead moments later when Danny Redmond saw a shot tipped over the bar by Robbie Hemfrey in the Airdrie goal.

Airdrie immediately pushed for an equaliser and highly rated young midfielder Liam McStavick spurned a chance to level the game in the seventeenth minute when he denied at the crucial moment by recovering defender Josh Pask.

Thankfully for McStravick and the Scottish Championship side, he was able to level the game just five minutes later when he got on the end of a chipped Adam Frizzell pass to hammer home on the half-volley with an effort that flew past a helpless Connor Roberts in the TNS goal.

Both teams went in level at the break when Airdrie player-manager Rhys McCabe decided to substitute himself to manage the team from the sidelines.

The second half was nothing like the first as both sides got cagey with the price of success at stake and on their minds.

That all changed on sixty-six minutes when referee Matthew MacDermid pointed to the spot when Josh Pask was adjudged to have fouled substitute Josh O’Connor inside the TNS penalty area.

Nikolay Todorov duly converted the penalty in clinical fashion to give Airdrie the lead for the first time in the final.

The New Saints gained momentum in possession after going behind and made a few substitutions to try and turn the tide in the game.

Their best opportunity of the second half fell to their Scottish striker Declan McManus who headed wide from an inviting Josh Daniels cross in the seventy-ninth minute.

They pushed until the bitter end but to no avail, as Airdrieonians secured the SPFL trophy.

The victory is Rhys McCabe’s first trophy as a manager, and you would be shocked if it was the last such is how highly he is regarded in Scottish football at this moment in time.

WFi player of the match: Adam Frizzell (Airdrieonians) – the captain was a consistent performer as his side lifted the SPFL Trust trophy.

The New Saints: Roberts, Daniels, D Davies, Pask, Marriott, Clark (McManus, 74), Smith (Brobbel, 90), Redmond (D Williams, 74), Holden (Marshall, 76), Young, J Williams (Cieslewicz, 76)

Substitutes: Thompson, Brobbel, McManus, Cieslewicz, Hudson, D Williams, Harlock, Marshall, Jones.

Airdrieonians: Hemfrey, Ballantyne, Watson, Fordyce, Hancock, McCabe (McMaster, 45), Frizzell, Telfer, G Gallagher (O’Connor, 54), McStravick (Donnell, 61), Todorov (C Gallagher, 90+3)

Substitutes: Hutton, Taylor-Sinclair, O’Connor, McGregor, C Gallagher, McMaster, Dunlop, McGill, Donnell.