Saints thank Evans for Talbot win
A SOLITARY goal from Steve Evans was all that separated the Welsh Premier's two in-form sides in a closely-contested, scrappy and often niggly affair at Park Hall.
The New Saints' Welsh international central defender poked the ball past Port Talbot keeper Lee Kendall on the stroke of half-time after Aeron Edwards had got a touch to Scott Ruscoe's left-wing corner.
It was a first defeat in nine games for the Steelmen, while the meanest defence in the league again kept a clean sheet and has not conceded a goal from open play since October.
They never looked likely to be breached by a largely toothless visiting attack in which leading scorers Martin Rose and Liam McCreesh were well-marshalled by Evans and Phil Baker.
The hosts could have been three goals to the good inside the first quarter of an hour, with Matthew Berkeley first firing straight at Kendall from inside the box, shooting wide of the back post and then being denied in a one-on-one.
Drew Fahiya almost caught the Saints flat-footed on the break, evading two tackles before a weak shot which presented no difficulty to Paul Harrison.
Barry Hogan came close to extending the lead in first-half stoppage time with a good effort that whistled past the post, but it took a fine reaction save from Kendall to stop Jones from adding a second goal and Berkeley miscued the rebound.
But the best chance to add another fell to sub Jamie Wood, who somehow missed the target after being put through by Hogan in stoppage time.