GOAL-LESS DRAW LEAVES GROUP WIDE OPEN
ONE point each was little use to either side in a competitive Group A game at Park Avenue, which Saints should have wrapped up by half-time.
They created a hat-full of chances but were denied by poor finishing, dogged defending and an outstanding display from John Worsnop in the Aberystwyth goal.
With both leading goal scorers mysteriously relegated to the subs' bench, TNS pushed Gary Brabin into a more forward role and it almost paid dividends.
The familiar wide Naylor corner came after just two minutes and Brabin's powerful header from outside the box was saved by Worsnop.
He had two more good efforts in the first-half, a 20-yard shot after Naylor and Beck had combined and another from a Ruscoe delivery.
Steven Beck had a shot cleared off the line as the Saints piled on the pressure to prevent the home side posing any serious danger.
Nicky Ward hooked a cross over the bar and also hit a shot wide from a good position.
TNS let their opponents back into the game as the half wore on and were made to pay for their failure to capitalise on scoring opportunities.
Gary Brabin was dismissed after 55 minutes for a senseless elbow into Bari Morgan's face, after he had already won a free kick for a fairly innocuous tackle.
The incident finally brought the game to life, but Aber were unable to make their numerical superiority count despite gaining more of the ball in midfield.
In fact, the best chance of the night fell to Beck on 65 minutes, but when fed by John Toner he could only blast the ball against Worsnop's legs from point blank range.
Marc Lloyd-Williams got a rare scoring opportunity after good work by John Lawless, but his shot was deflected for a corner by a defender. Lawless had carved a couple of chances earlier, but could not produce a telling finish.
Aberystwyth never looked likely to win, but the partisan home faithful seemed delighted with the draw that does very little to enhance their own position in the group.
For TNS, a quarter-final spot seems to depend on away wins at Bangor and Caersws in their remaining games, a tall order.