Berkeley ends Latham goal drought
THE New Saints maintained their challenge for the Welsh Premier title with a comfortable 2-0 success at Newtown.
And, after two goal-less draw in the last two seasons, it took the Saints just 13 minutes to end their Latham Park goal drought.
A left-wing cross from Tommy Holmes found Matthew Berkeley, who seized his chance on the edge of the six-yard box to fire past keeper Dave Roberts.
The victory was virtually sealed on the half-hour when wingman Craig Jones beat his marker down the right touchline and, after his first attempt to cross was blocked, his second was volleyed home with aplomb by ex-Robins' midfielder Scott Ruscoe.
Gaining his first start since signing from Bangor City, Chris Sharp and fellow frontman Berkeley provided plenty of movement to trouble the home defence, with Jones and Craig Williams both threats down the flanks.
Berkeley sent an early shot straight at Roberts, but Newtown should have snatched an equaliser on 19 minutes when Paul Roberts steered his header wide of the far post when unmarked in front of goal from a Jamie Breeze cross.
Berkeley chipped straight at the keeper from Barry Hogan's pass and Sharp was wide of the target after more good work by Jones.
Newtown sharpened-up some slack marking in the second period to restrict the Saints' chances and carved a couple of openings which raised hopes of a comeback.
Roberts fired wide of the far post from a good position, but it was the visitors who almost added to their tally when only Roberts' outstretched leg diverted a Jones shot to safety after Sharp had created the opening down the left.
The win lifted the Saints to within a point of leaders Llanelli, with leaves Darren Ryan's side with plenty to do if they are to achieve their ambitions of playing in the Welsh Premier's elite 12 next season.