Saints cruise at The Airfield
THERE was no repeat of the 11-goal thrashing at Treflan, but The New Saints cruised to a comfortable victory at The Airfield to virtually ensure qualification for the last eight.
Stung by a £500 fine from the league, the Wingmakers fielded a stronger side than two weeks ago, including player/boss Gareth Owen, but despite battling hard were no match for the Saints.
Only heroics from keeper Adam McGhee, aided by the woodwork, prevented a heavy defeat with several TNS players missing the chance to boost their goal tally.
Michael Wilde led the way with a brace, opening the Saints account on the quarter hour with a simple six-yarder from a left wing cross.
He had earlier missed a good opportunity, with John Toner denied by Steve Gunby tackle as Saints enjoyed the bulk of possession. The lively David Hughes did give Roy Cardus a good opening but the former Cefn Druids frontman lost control in front of goal.
Toner and Scott Ruscoe failed to find the target but, after Richard Harris had rattled the bar on 31 minutes, he found the back of the net with a good strike from 15-yards when Toner beat two defenders down the right and crossed into the box.
Gareth Owen had just missed another good chance at the far post as the Wingmakers spurned the few openings they had and they were soon on the back foot after the break.
McGhee produced another fine save to tip over a Ruscoe piledriver but had no chance when Toner crossed from the right for Wilde to head in at the back post.
Steven Beck sent his 20-yarder over and Wilde headed wide again with McGhee denying Ruscoe and sub Greg Stones, suspiciously outside the box.
And, after another save from Toner, the keeper's long clearance ended with Hughes setting up Cardus for a goal with the last kick of the match as Airbus finally got something out of the two ties.