BATTLING NEWTOWN HOLD TNS
TNS kept their noses in front at the top of the Mitsubishi Welsh Premier despite being held by battling Newtown in a closely-fought Powys derby at Treflan.
With title rivals Bangor and Barry also sharing a draw, the Llansantffraid high-flyers ensured their advantage remained on goal difference.
Neither side were able to seriously trouble the opposition goalkeepers in a wayward first half, Mark Williams firing wide in one of the best openings for Newtown, while at the other end, Robbie Wood was off target from long range and Nicky Ward's free kick was comfortably held by keeper Gary Haman.
But the second half immediately sparked into life as Mike Wilde turned Gary Brabin's right-wing cross narrowly past the post for the Saints a minute after the interval.
However, it was Newtown who went ahead two minutes later when a deep free-kick was flipped on by Williams and Justin Wickham nipped in amid some defensive hesitation to tuck the ball past keeper Gerrard Doherty.
But TNS launched an immediate riposte as Scott Ruscoe linked well with Wilde on the right before drilling a low angled strike into the far corner.
The Saints continued to push, but were unable to capitalise on a succession of crosses as the Newtown rear-guard held firm.
Ward crashed one angled shot past the post on 78 minutes as the home raids became increasingly urgent.
Yet it was Newtown who could have gone ahead on 82 minutes when Chris Adamson threaded a neat pass through the defence and Wickham out-paced the defence, but was denied by the outstretched hand of Doherty as he attempted to chip the keeper.
TNS pressed late on and went agonisingly close to snatching the points in injury time when Ruscoe's corner from the left was headed goalwards by Chris Taylor, but keeper Haman managed to turn the ball away.