Edwards the toast of the town
AERON Edwards scored a superb hat-trick as The New Saints went third with a comfortable 4-0 home win over Elements Cefn Druids.
Andrew Edgar failed to trouble keeper Paul Harrison with an early 30-yarder for the Ancients and there was rarely any doubt about the outcome once Craig Jones had fired the Saints ahead from the penalty spot in the 10th-minute, after defender Dan Barnett had pushed Craig Williams as he raced into the box.
Jamie Wood fired over an open target after keeper Chris Mullock could only parry Barry Hogan's strike but, after Edgar had hit the side netting from a byline run, TNS went further ahead on 28 minutes.
Phil Baker's incisive through ball set-up Edwards and the midfielder fired a cracking shot into the top corner from the edge of the 18-yard box.
With Craig Jones a constant menace down the right-hand side, there were plenty of chances with only a superb save from Mullock preventing Williams from adding a third.
Half-time sub Steve Abbott almost scored with his first touch after a Jones cross from another superb Baker long ball.
Jones just failed to connect with an overhead kick before Edwards beat most of the Druids' defence with a surging run which ended with the ball in Mullock's hands.
Williams again went close with a shot from edge of the area before man-of-the-match Edwards struck twice in six minutes.
He first raced onto a through ball to outoace the advancing Mullock and then notched his hat-trick goal from the tightest of angles after he took the ball round the keeper and steered his shot from the byline past a despairing tackle from defender Adam Hesp.
There were plenty more attempts from the home side but the plucky visitors were able to hold out as the Saints got back to winning ways after three drawn games and enjoyed the luxury of resting Steve Evans and Scott Ruscoe ahead of their busy schedule to come.