The New Saints beat Gap Connah’s Quay by four goals to nil, thanks to braces from Chris Jones and Mike Wilde, at the Deeside Stadium.
The Saints took the lead when Jones dribbled through the Gap defence, before slotting into the bottom corner from 12 yards out. Wilde added a second after good hold up play by Aeron Edwards and the big forward made no mistake from just inside the box. Moments later, Wilde completed his brace with a stunning header from close range and in first half injury time, Jones completed his brace, with the goal of the game. The winger wonderfully curled his superb shot into the top corner from the edge of the box.
The game started slowly with neither side able to create anything of note, but on 17 minutes, Aeron Edwards struck the first meaningful shot of the game, however the energetic midfielder’s long range attempt, sailed over the cross bar.
Within a minute, the deadlock was broken. Jones did wonderfully well to dribble inside past a couple of challenges, before expertly cutting into the box and coolly finding the bottom corner with a slick side footed effort. The former Swansea man curled his delightful right footed shot into Terry McCormick’s goal.
Midway through the first half, the tenacious Sam Finley sprinted down the left hand side and was unlucky to see his cross come shot, go just inches wide of the top corner.
Five minutes later, Finley was once again amongst the thick of the action and after once again finding space down the left, his excellent cut back was met by the advancing Jones and the goalscorer was unable to double his tally on the night after he fired just wide from six yards out.
Shortly before the half time break, Wilde added a second for his team. After a long punt up the field from Paul Harrison, Edwards did really well to hold off Mark McGregor before the on-rushing Wilde advanced with the ball and the former Chester City striker took one big touch into the box and then lifted the ball over the Connah’s Quay ‘keeper, despite McGrrgor’s desperate attempt to clear it off the line.
On the stroke of half time it was three. Chris Seargeant whipped in a great corner to the front post and Wilde forced it in with a powerful header from close range.
In first half injury time Jones added his second. The speedy winger sensationally curled his right footed effort right into the top corner, from the edge of the box. Having been played in by Finley, the TNS number 21 finessed his unstoppable effort into the top corner, leaving McCormick rooted to the spot.
Craig Harrison’s side resumed the second half in complete control and the Saints nearly made it five when Ryan Fraughan curled his long range effort just wide on 61 minutes. Moments later, Kai Edwards sprinted forward and unleashed a powerful shot from just inside the 18 yard box, only for Wilde to accidently deflect it away for a goal kick.
Soon after, Simon Spender delivered a great cross and last seasons Welsh Premier League Golden Boot winner nearly completed his hat-trick, but his weak shot was comfortably dealt with by the Connah’s Quay shot stopper.
Seconds later, substitute Mike Hayes tested Harrison with a powerfully hit low shot but with the game fizzling out, The Saints remained solid and played out the rest of the game in a very professional manner, to ensure back to back league wins for the first time this season.
Full time: Gap Connah’s Quay 0-4 The New Saints.
The New Saints line up was Paul Harrison (C), Phil Baker, Simon Spender, Kai Edwards, Connell Rawlinson, Aeron Edwards, Sam Finley, Ryan Fraughan, Chris Seargeant, Chris Jones and Mike Wilde.
On the bench were Jamie Mullan, Greg Draper, Jordan Wells, Ryan Kershaw, Aaron Simms, Matty Williams and Alex Darlington.
The Gap Connah’s Quay team was Terry McCormick, Jack Rowlands, Mark McGregor, Micheal Robinson, Craig Jones (C), Daniel Forde, Ricky Evans, Ryan Edwards, Jack Rowlands, Danny Dobbins, Danny Desormeaux and Mark Smyth.
On the bench for the home side were John Rushton, Simon Everall, Mike Hayes, Paul Mooney, Shaun Tinsley, Josh Williams and Aron Williams.