Total Network Solutions 2-0 Haverfordwest County Saturday 27 September 2021 Welsh Premier: Home, Treflan
High fives from John Leah for Jamie Wood
after his seventh minute penalty
for Saints. [Photo: Craig Dunbar]
TNS went back to the top of the League, but had to work hard to overcome a workmanlike and dogged Haverfordwest County.
The task was made all the harder as Saints were forced to play two-thirds of the game with 10 men, after Scott Ruscoe was dismissed for a second bookable offence.
Yet Saints had got off to a dream start with a goal in only the seventh minute.
Colin Loss handled from a Martyn Naylor free kick and Jamie Wood slotted home the spot kick.
Despite their early lead, Saints showed little fluency and chances were few and far between in a forgettable first period. When Saints did threaten, West keeper Lee Kendall was able to thwart their efforts.
A Naylor free kick on 23 minutes nearly put TNS further ahead, but Kendall saved at full stretch after the ball had eluded everyone in the box.
Toner fired over on 35 and was denied again by Kendall a few minutes later.
It was 41 minutes before County forced their first corner, but Wayne Jones missed a golden heading opportunity from in front of goal.
Two minutes after the break, TNS almost notched a freak goal when Kendall's clearance on the edge of the box rebounded off Wood towards goal, but went agonisingly wide of the post.
Wood and Toner worked tirelessly up front but were both replaced on the hour as they wilted in the warm conditions.
Former Saint Darren Ryan proved to be County's main threat, but he lacked support from his team-mates and there was little serious danger to the TNS goal.
For TNS, Michael Wilde broke clear on 72 minutes and put the ball in the net, only for his effort to be controversially ruled out for handball.
In an rare attack with 15 minutes left, the Saints' defence was finally breached and Brabin was forced to trip Tim Hicks as he bore down on goal.
But County were denied an equaliser when Dean Williams produced a superb save to turn away Wayne Jones's well-struck spot kick.
In the final minute of normal time, Saints finally made the game safe.
Good work by Michael Wilde allowed Dave Bridgwater to feed Martyn Naylor, who lashed home his third goal in three games from just inside the box.
Manager Ken McKenna admitted it had been a tough game. "We had to grind out this win," he said.
"But it was one of those days when the result was more important than the performance."
Limbert spurs Rhyl
In the day's other games, Marc Limbert turned provider for both Rhyl's goals in a 2-1 win over Caersws, which hardly reflected their superiority.
Ten-man Welshpool battled back to earn a share of the points at home to Port Talbot with a goal from Peter Wilding.
NEWI Cefn Druids won a drab encounter at Cwmbran where the home side are deep in trouble under new manager Brian Coyne.
And Barry Town gained their first point of a troubled season at Carmarthen, where caretaker boss Andrew Yorke has work to do.
NEWPORT TARGET HUGHES Newport
County want Port Talbot's prolific striker, Craig Hughes. More
LADIES HIT TEN TNS
Ladies qualified for the 1st round proper of the FA Women's Cup with a 10-0
rout of US Valerio Vixens. More
GET THE BUS! Oswestry
based fans can take a free bus to Treflan games. More
DOHERTY SEES RED Gerard
Doherty was sent off as TNS Reserves crashed 1-2 at home. More
JEANNE'S COKE HABIT Cocaine
destroyed Leon Jeanne's WP career, a court has been told. More
KEEPER COVER Carmarthen Town have signed 19-year old former Scunthorpe keeper Neil
Collins as cover for the injured Tony Pennock.
TUESDAY GAME OFF Porthmadog v Newtown, scheduled for next Tuesday 30 September, has been
postponed for the funeral of Robins' stalwart Trevor Jones who was killed in
a tragic accident earlier this week.
MEREDITH FOR POOL Welshpool Town have signed former Carmarthen midfielder, Sion Meredith.
GRAHAM FOR RHYL Ex-Manchester
Utd, Colwyn Bay and Cwmbran striker, Deiniol Graham, has joined Rhyl. More
HOLMES' COMEBACK Tommy
Holmes is set to play for TNS Reserves this weekend - and Steve Evans could
be back in two months. More
TNS BACK EVANS Saints
will stand by defender Steve Evans who has been jailed for six months. More