UEFA Conference, second qualifying round, second leg

Newtown 1 Spartak Trnava 2

(Spartak win 6-2 on aggregate)

NEWTOWN bowed out of Europe with heads held high following defeat against Slovakian side Spartak Trnava in Oswestry tonight.

The Robins went into the tie chasing a three goal deficit following last week's 4-1 defeat in Slovakia but began brightly.

Craig Williams' fourth minute free kick was met by Shane Sutton whose header from 12 yards made goalkeeper Martin Vantrube scuttle for a save.

Six minutes later Craig Williams drilled inches wide from the edge of the area after Spartak fail to clear Henry Cowans' long throw to encourage the 654 spectators who turned out despite the three goal advantage the visitors held from the first leg.

The Slovakians had to wait until the 26th minute for their first real chance with Alex Ivan denied by a close range save from goalkeeper Dave Jones after Samuel Stefanic's throughball found the Town defence wanting.

Samuel Stefanic fired straight at Jones from the edge of the area after some good build up on the left after half an hour.

Cowans, whose father Gordon won the European Cup with Aston Villa in 1982, was involved when Newtown's willigness to attack was rewarded.

A long throw into the area, from Cowans, was handled by a Spartak defender and the referee pointed to spot. Despite a delay a cool Aaron Williams slotted home to give Newtown a deserved lead on 33 minutes at their temporary home to meet European requirements.

The National Wales: Newtowns AFC’s Henry Cowans is challenged by Spartak Trnava’s Sebastian Kosa. Picture: Barrington Coombs/PA WireNewtowns AFC’s Henry Cowans is challenged by Spartak Trnava’s Sebastian Kosa. Picture: Barrington Coombs/PA Wire

Newtown ended the half on top with Aaron Williams narrowly failing to connect with Craig Williams' right wing cross before Gergely Tumma headed over at the other end as the referee sounded the half-time whistle.

The visitors, who had made six changes from the first leg and had four full internationals resting on their bench rang the changes during the break and were much improved with Martin Mikovic lifting over the bar after 53 minutes.

Zeli Ismael lashed wide from 12 yards on the hour for the Robins as Spartak gradually got on top.

Jones gathered well after Spartak broke and Kyriakos Savvidas was released by Stefanik five minutes later before Mikovic lashed wide from close range after being picked out on the far post from Kristian Kostrna's cross.

The National Wales: Spartak Trnava players pose with their vocal supporters who followed them to Oswestry. Picture: Barrington Coombs/PA WireSpartak Trnava players pose with their vocal supporters who followed them to Oswestry. Picture: Barrington Coombs/PA Wire

Spartak levelled on 72 minutes with Mikovic breaking through midfield to release Srefanik who chipped over an advancing Dave Jones from the left.

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With Newtown still reeling the Slovakians completed their comeback with 12 minutes remaining as Martin Bukata danced through the Newtown defence to slot past Jones and delight the enthusiastic away support behind the goal.

 

Though defeat, sealed in the final 20 minutes, was disappointing for Newtown they had progressed through a qualification round for only the second time and a further victory, even with a loss on the aggregate score, would have provided a further boost to the Cymru Premier in what has overall been another summer where the league's sides have come up short in Europe. 

NEWTOWN: D Jones, Roberts, C Williams, Sutton (Mills-Evans 81), Sears, Cowans (Jones 81), Walker (Wharton 70), A Williams, Ismael (Rushton 62), Robles (Hesden 81), Hughes. Subs: B Taylor, Hyde, M Williams, Downs, Smallwood, M Taylor

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