Saints stay on target for the title
IF The New Saints wear the Welsh Premier crown in two weeks' time, youngster John McKenna can claim a key role.
It was the scholarship product who scored the Saints' 96th-minute winner at Neath a few weeks ago, and the 19-year-old popped-up again after 73 minutes to break the deadlock at Caersws.
The 3-0 scoreline barely tells the story of a game in which the Saints struggled to break down a resolute Bluebirds' defence on a difficult, bumpy surface.
But when McKenna seized on a loose ball 30 yards out after Chris Sharp had laid off a Scott Ruscoe left-wing cross, he rifled his shot into the corner of the net to the audible relief of the Saints' bench.
Within a minute, the points were sealed when Matthew Berkeley slammed home a 20-yarder after the ball arrived at his feet following pinball in the home box from a Craig Jones delivery.
It ended an afternoon of frustration for the title pretenders who had dominated play without being able to beat home keeper Dave Jones, who was only forced to make two serious saves in the first-half, diving spectacularly to keep out Ruscoe's piledriver after good work by Tommy Holmes.
Berkeley hit the crossbar in the tenth minute after defender Steve Rowland failed to cut-out Phil Baker's long ball forward and Jones saw his shot palmed away for a corner by the keeper after McKenna had miscued with a bicycle kick from a Berkeley inside pass.
Chris Sharp saw his header hit the outside of an upright from Ruscoe's corner and a poor clearance from Rowland almost led to goal when Jones crossed and Matthew Prosser was forced to clear Sharp's header off the line.
After the break, the hosts grew in confidence as they sensed an upset and Matthew Holt went close with a back post header from a deep Simon Jones free-kick.
But, once in front, TNS were in cruise control and Ruscoe added the icing on the cake in the last minute, sending his header across the keeper and into the far corner from a Steve Abbott cross.