Wednesday, April 21, 2010
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Sharp's hat-trick puts Saints within touching distance

A HAT-TRICK from Chris Sharp put The New Saints within touching distance of the Welsh Premier title in a 4-0 demolition of Haverfordwest County at a sun-drenched Park Hall.

Rivals Llanelli ensured the race will go down to the wire, but will need to gain maximum points and improve their inferior difference of eight from their remaining three games to send TNS to Aberystwyth in a week's time needing another point.
The outcome was never in doubt once Sharp had opened his account in the 26th-minute, firing home at the second attempt from the edge of the six-yard box after Steve Evans had headed a Tommy Holmes cross back into the area from the byline.
Bluebirds' keeper Lee Idzi had already made a good save to deny Scott Ruscoe from a free-kick, while Sharp and Craig Jones both had shots charged down.
Danny Holmes and Ruscoe went close again before the break, but Sharp extended the lead five minutes into the second-half, making no mistake from 18 yards from Barry Hogan's sublime through pass.
Ruscoe rattled the crossbar with a first-time shot from Sharp's inside pass before Idzi amazingly escaped a red card.
The keeper was clearly the last man when he tripped Sharp inside the box, but lenient referee Kevin Morgan only produced a yellow.
Sharp made Idzi pay by converting the spot kick to complete his hat-trick, before Phil Baker's bullet header from a Ruscoe corner completed the scoring.
Tommy Holmes nearly added a fifth but hit the near post from a narrow angle before sub John McKenna sent his volley inches wide.
Photo: Chris Sharp celebrates his hat-trick.

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