The New Saints moved three points clear at the top of the Corbett Sports Welsh Premier League after beating Newtown 2-1 thanks to a brilliant brace from Mike Wilde at Latham Park.
Wilde opened the scoring after 12 minutes and doubled the lead four minutes into the second half with a powerful header. Luke Boundford pulled a goal back moments later but the home side couldn’t find an equaliser as TNS claimed a valuable away win.
The Saints started brightly and had a lot of early possession, however with ten minutes gone, Shane Sutton went close for the home side but headed just over, after latching on to a Matt Hearsey corner.
Two minutes later, Wilde opened the scoring. The powerful striker capitalised on some abject defending from the home side and beat Michael Platt from just inside the six yard box, to give Craig Harrison’s team a perfect start after only 12 minutes.
The WPL Champions continued to control the game despite Sean Evans having two off target shots from outside of the box that failed to trouble Paul Harrison.
With few chances being created by either side, The Saints continued to dominate possession but with five minutes left to play in the first half, Boundford spurned a glorious chance for The Robins. The striker raced clear from the TNS defence but lacked composure in front of goal and fired his shot over the bar.
Harrison’s side also started brightly in the second half and Wilde should have doubled the lead after Matty Williams had done magnificently well to release the former Chester City man.
However, the TNS number 18 didnt have to wait long for another chance. Chris Marriott’s expertly delivered cross was met by the striker who headed in from close range, to complete his brace and give his side a two goal advantage.
The home side rallied and within minutes pulled a goal back through Boundford. Craig Williams picked out the Newtown number nine, who made no mistake to head home.
Evans had a golden opportunity on the hour mark but struck straight at Harrison from just inside the box and minutes later, Sutton headed straight at the TNS goalkeeper as well, as Newtown continued to search for the equaliser.
Lee Fowler and Scott Quigley replaced Chris Seargeant and Chris Jones respectively with twenty minutes left as The Saints looked to secure the three points.
Neil Mitchell headed over and Jamie Mullan missed the target from 12 yards out as the game became much more open.
With only a few minutes left to play, substitute Fowler picked out Wilde with a wonderful through ball but the striker shot wide from 40 yards out as Platt rushed out to collect.
As the game entered stoppage time, substitute Jeff White headed just wide as the home side continued to apply pressure on the TNS defence.
The Newtown ‘keeper then pulled off a brilliant point blank save to deny Wilde his hat-trick as the game became extremely stretched but despite Newtown throwing everything they had at TNS, the Champions held on to claim three important points.
Full time: Newtown 1-2 The New Saints.
The New Saints line up for today’s away Corbett Sports Welsh Premier League fixture against Newtown was Paul Harrison (C), Aeron Edwards, Phil Baker, Connell Rawlinson, Chris Marriott, Chris Seargeant (Lee Fowler 72), Simon Spender, Matty Williams, Mike Wilde, Chris Jones (Scott Quigley 72) and Jamie Mullan.
The unused substitutes for The Saints were K.Edwards, Ryan Edwards, Greg Draper, Jordan Wells and Fisnik Hajdari.
The Newtown line up was Michael Platt, Craig Williams, Kieran Mills-Evans, Shane Sutton, Max Penk, Matthew Cook (C), Lance Jones (Tom Goodwin 65), Luke Boundford (Zach Evans 87), Sean Evans, Neil Mitchell and Matthew Hearsey (Jeff White 81).