Saints expose gulf in class
SAINTS emphasised the gulf in class between the top of the Welsh Premier and the Welsh league’s Third Division as they gave Penrhiwfer the drubbing they probably expected.
Only the crossbar denied Michael Wilde from surpassing the club’s scoring record as he notched a personal haul of five in what eventually ended in a rout.
It could have been worse but for heroics from visiting keeper Dean Lee, but Pen battled bravely to restrict Saints to a two-goal interval lead.
Wilde opened his account after eight minutes with a header from Martin Naylor’s cross before Lee Brown almost surprised TNS keeper Ged Doherty with a speculative 35-yarder which just shaved the angle.
Marc Lloyd-Williams was on hand to score the second from close range after Chris King and John Lawless had combined well on the left.
But a double whammy within two minutes of the restart gave the Tonypandy outfit some idea of the task they faced.
A superb ball from Steven Evans out of defence found Lawless in space on the left and he crossed for Wilde to side foot home.
John Leah then got in on the act after a Lawless shot was blocked and he followed up to steer his shot just inside the right hand post.
Lloyd-Williams grabbed his second with a superb turn and shot before retiring to the bench to fight another day, but there was no respite for the visitors' defence as substitute Steven Beck immediately found Wilde who scored from close range.
Wilde added his fourth six minutes later after his first attempt had hit the post before turning provider for a John Toner header at the near post.
Lee saved superbly to stop Leah adding his second but sub Tommy Holmes stepped in for a rare goal striking Toner’s cross into the net from 12 yards.
Wilde’s clever dummy put Toner through to beat the keeper and net from a narrow angle, before the striker completed his five-timer in the final minute to equal Frank Mottram’s record.
Pen almost got a consolation at the death when Mike McDonah hit the post and Doherty was forced into his one save of the afternoon from substitute Phillip Evans’ follow-up.