TNS MAKE IT A MERRY CHRISTMAS
HIGH fliers TNS remain one point clear at the top of the League of Wales after securing a comfortable 5-1 derby victory at Oswestry Town.
A snowy surface and the loss of an early goal failed to put the skids under the Saints who enjoyed enough dominance to have run out more emphatic victors.
Yet Oswestry, needing points to climb clear of basement danger, made the ideal start on six minutes when Mo Doyle curled in a 20-yard free kick against his former club after Chris Edge had handled.
But the home delight was shortlived as TNS quickly stamped their authority with John Leah volleying a 10th minute leveller as the chances began to flow.
Nicky Ward struck a post while Gary Powell twice went close, with one 18-yard effort clipping the bar.
The early enterprise soon paid more dividends on 27 minutes as Ward crossed from the left for Powell to volley home via a deflection at the far post.
Ward, proving a constant threat on the left, again got the better of an inexperienced Town rearguard when crossing for Justin Perry to convert a third on 35 minutes.
And the encounter was effectively over as a contest once Tommy Holmes had scrambled a fourth 11 minutes into the second period, with the linesman ruling the ball had gone over the line.
Town rarely suggested they could find a way back, Neil Pryce just failing to meet debutant Steve Rogers's inviting cross while the midfielder also brought a rare save from keeper Danny Embleton with an overhead kick.
But TNS were to have the final word when Ward completed the tally on 74 minutes after keeper Barton had parried a low 20-yard strike from Ricky Evans.