Crows deny TNS at the death
John Lawless celebrates as Mike Wilde's deflected shot beats Cwmbran's Gareth Wesson
Click for more photos
CENTRAL defender Paul Coughlin struck deep in to injury time to prevent Saints from claiming a 13th win in 15 league starts this season.
One minute and 34 seconds into stoppage time, Coughlin accepted substitute Kaid Mohamed’s pass before firing a low, 20-yard shot past goalkeeper Gerard Doherty to earn the Gwent side a point.
TNS had recovered from the shock of going 1-0 down to striker Kristian Hanbury’s fine 21st-minute effort. Richard Hurlin picked up the ball in midfield and picked out his fellow striker who beat two TNS defenders and then netted with a precise low shot.
Saints' equaliser two minutes before the break owed much to Coughlin’s misfortune. Steven Beck found Michael Wilde on the right, but his speculative cross hit the Cwmbran centre-back, who diverted it past a helpless Gareth Wesson in goal.
It was a different TNS who emerged for the second half and they pressed right from the kick-off. Within five minutes, Wilde had a chance from five yards out but Wesson produced a reflex save to tip his header over.
Wilde was through again a minute later and it took a desperate tackle from Terry Green to touch the ball away for a corner.
Three minutes later, Wesson had to be quick to cover his near post when Scott Ruscoe fired in a fierce 20-yard free kick, but the pressure told five minutes later.
Steve Evans crossed from the left and John Toner hit a perfect half-volley that gave Wesson no chance.
Crows' boss Brian Coyne responded by trying two new strikers in Andrew Mainwaring and Kaid Mohammed and the move paid off in the final moments.
TNS boss Ken McKenna was unhappy with his side's first-half performance but philosophical about the late equaliser: "This sort of thing happens all the time in football - but it doesn't make it any easier to take," he said.