TNS comfortably beat Afan Lido

The New Saints cut the gap at the top of the Welsh Premier League to three points after beating Afan Lido 3-0 thanks to a goal from Kai Edwards and a brace from Alex Darlington.

With a minute to go before the half time break, Edwards opened the scoring and a minute after the break Darlington doubled the lead. Late on Darlington added another with a superb close range finish to give The Saints the three points.

The Saints started well with Greg Draper, Jamie Mullan and Aeron Edwards all having early shots from close range but with the visitors having everyone behind the ball it was difficult for Craig Harrison’s men to find a way through.

However, with The Saints controlling the game, the stubborn Lido remained disciplined and with ten minutes to go until half time, Chris Jones nearly opened the scoring. The former Swansea City winger somehow managed to direct his curling corner onto the post and unluckily for TNS, the ball amazingly bounced out, before the visitors were able to clear.

Minutes before the break Edwards smashed an unstoppable strike into the top corner. The powerful defender found himself in space on the edge of the box and unleashed an incredible shot which flew past Richards, to give the Corbett Sports Welsh Premier League Champions a deserved half time lead.

Three minutes into the second half and the Oswestry based side doubled the lead. Chris Seargeant delivered a superb ball into the box and Darlington made no mistake by coolly converting his header into the top corner.

Soon after Mullan found Jones unmarked at the back post but the former Grimsby Town man was unable to connect properly with the ball and watched his shot go just wide of the near post.

With half an hour to play the speedy Jones expertly crossed into the six yard box and Draper was only inches from adding a third goal. A minute later and Mullan found the New Zealand International with a great pull back and the fully stretched striker was unlucky to see his effort go just over the bar.

Darlington then completed his brace with brilliant finish from close range. The former Wrexham man tucked the ball under Richards from close range and watched the ball roll over the line to give his team a comfortable lead.

The Champions controlled the rest of the game by maintaining possession and despite Darlington testing Richards again, The New Saints secured a second win in a row and continued their wonderful home record.

Full time: The New Saints 3-0 Afan Lido.

The New Saints line up was Paul Harrison (C), Simon Spender, Chris Marriott, Phil Baker, Kai Edwards, Aeron Edwards (Ryan Kershaw 81), Chris Seargeant, Alex Darlington, Greg Draper (Mike Wilde 69) , Chris Jones (Matty Williams 69) and Jamie Mullan.

The unused substitutes for TNS were Connell Rawlinson, Aaron Simms, Adam Davies and Taylor James.

The Afan Lido line up was Craig Richards, Dean Hudson, Mark Crutch (C), Matthew Rees, Ryan Batley, Ian Hillier (Chris Hartland 52), Garyn Preen (Scott McCoubrey 69), Gareth Phillips, Casey Thomas, Alex Gammond (Kristian James 52) and Keyon Reffel.

The unused substitutes for Lido was Joshua Doyle.