ROBINS MAKE TNS BATTLE ALL THE WAY
SAINTS opened up a three-point gap at the top of the Welsh Premier with a 4-2 victory over Powys rivals Newtown at Latham Park.
However, TNS were made to battle all the way against their hosts before maintaining their unbeaten league record.
The visitors had led throughout, the opener coming after just four minutes. John Toner drilled a deflected shot into the goalmouth from the right, keeper Andy Hughes managed to block but Chris King nipped in at the left post to blast the loose ball into the net from a tight angle. But, undeterred, Newtown showed plenty of spirit and purpose as they gave the Saints much to ponder in a lively encounter.
Yet, having threatened to get back into the game, the Robins slipped further behind on 27 minutes when their former midfielder John Leah drilled a low 25-yard free kick through the home wall and past Hughes.
King went close to a third when volleying over but Newtown reduced the arrears five minutes before the break when Jamie Edwards's low cross from the left byline eluded the covering defence and Mark Williams had time to slot in from six yards.
The encounter remained in the balance after the interval, Chris Adamson being denied by a fine double save by Dean Williams at his near post on the hour.
TNS, however, gave themselves some breathing space two minutes later when Robbie Wood split the defence and Toner, finding himself in space amid offside claims, steered the ball in from 12 yards.
Newtown stayed in the hunt when Edwards's 69th minute left wing cross was met by a fine header from Williams for his second goal of the night, and remarkably only the fifth that the Saints have conceded in the league this season.
Yet, their hopes of salvaging the game faded four minutes from time as substitute Steve Rogers broke clear to seal the points against his former club.