TNS LOSE THE PLOT AT HAVERFORDWEST
SAINTS lost the plot in every way as they slumped to defeat at Haverfordwest and their 31-game unbeaten away record came to an abrupt end.
They also surrendered their lead in the Welsh Premier to Rhyl on goal difference.
Although missing the influential Brabin, Naylor and Ward through injury, TNS still fielded a strong squad, but they were never able to come to terms with a hard-working County outfit, who continually took the game to their visitors.
Manager Ken McKenna fielded his promised three strikers, but Saints were never able to get a serious shot on target - and home keeper Lee Kendall dealt ably with the threat from crosses and corners.
Although Saints controlled the opening phase of the game, they missed the chance to take the lead on the quarter-hour, when Mike Wilde headed wide from David Bridgwater's cross.
Haverfordwest also had chances before they claimed the only goal of the game after 35 minutes. Steve Evans fouled in the box and Darren Ryan stepped up to plant the spot kick firmly past Gerard Doherty's despairing dive.
Tim Hicks could have put his side further ahead before the break, but he headed wide from a right wing cross.
The Bluebirds had most of the second half action with Tim Hicks and Rhys Griffiths both going close, although they too found it difficult to get shots on target.
Kendall turned a Mike Wilde shot into the side netting after 65 minutes before Steve Evans hit the crossbar from a Simon Davies corner, and Jimmy Aggrey's overhead kick from the rebound whistled over the bar.
TNS pressed hard for an equaliser in the last 10 minutes and Steve Evans again went close with a header before John Toner fired over from 12 yards from the resulting corner, to sum up Saints' day.
However, the main talking point of each half were bizarre incidents which both led to bookings.
Early in the game, Chris Taylor dropped to the ground, claiming he had been elbowed by Adie Harris.
Referee Phil Southall and his assistant had not seen the incident, but both Taylor and Harris were booked.
Even worse was to come for TNS, as Doherty and Aggrey were booked after the break for fighting each other, an indication that the pressure of the title chase is beginning to tell on the Saints.