Smash and grab Saints sink the Reds
THE New Saints gained revenge for their home defeat at the hands of Llanelli and opened up a six-point lead at the top of the league.
But in the end, it was a smash and grab raid at Stebonheath, with the winner coming deep into added time.
Barry Hogan whipped in a cross to the near post from the right and with keeper Gareth Williams under pressure from Michael Wilde, defender Stuart Jones could only divert the ball into his own net.
With one eye on Wednesday's crucial FAW Premier Cup final, manager Ken McKenna shuffled his pack and the resulting team selection was just up to the task.
Indeed, after Carl Lamb had given Saints a ninth minute lead, the half-time score could well have been 4-1 rather than the 1-0 that prevailed.
The opening goal stemmed from a defensive error when Gary Lloyd failed to cut out John Leah's through ball and Lamb swept the ball past keeper Williams.
Playing with a strong wind at their backs, Saints rattled the Reds' defence on several occasions and, if Wilde had shown more composure from two long clearances, there would have been no way back for the hosts.
Lamb also came close to adding another, but Gerard Doherty had to pull off a superb save at the other end to tip a Lee Phillips header over the bar and Rhys Griffiths somehow failed to find the target when presented with a chance four yards out.
Saints came under increasing pressure in the second half especially from set pieces and it was no surprise when Llanelli levelled. Jamie Wood thought he had forced a throw-in, but the ball remained in play and Craig Williams swept past defenders to provide for Jacob Mingorance to score at the near post.
Both sides had chances to win the game, with Williams missing a good chance for the Reds and Steven Beck failing to find the target when set-up by Wilde.
With time running out, Llanelli were looking disgruntled at having to settle for a draw when the mix-up between Williams and Jones snatched even a point from their grasp.