The New Saints beat Rhyl 3-0 thanks to goals from Kai Edwards, Mike Wilde and Chris Seargeant at a crowded Park Hall stadium.
A resilient Rhyl side frustrated The Saints for large periods but with just over an hour gone, Edwards broke the deadlock and Wilde made sure of the victory soon after, to give his side a well earned three points. Deep into injury time, Seargeant added another with a great finish from the edge of the box in front of over 500 passionate supporters.
On a cold and wet night in Oswestry, the visitors frustrated The Saints for the entire first half. Chris Marriott and Seargeant both had long range efforts but with Greg Strong’s men looking dangerous on the counter attack, the first half ended goalless.
Ten minutes into the second half, Seargeant whipped in a great free kick which Alex Darlington met but the TNS number 20 managed to steer his close range effort just wide of the post.
Moments later, Darlington found Chris Jones who hit a powerful shot into the side netting, as Rhyl continued to defend for their lives.
However, the deadlock was broken after 64 minutes when Edwards smashed in from close range. After a succession of corners, the former Neath man made no mistake from six yards out. Phil Baker had initially hit the post and the rebound fell kindly to Edwards who gave Craig Harrison’s side the lead.
Despite going a goal behind, Rhyl continued to press forward but with 78 minutes gone, Wilde sealed the points. Jamie Mullan played Simon Spender in and the former Wrexham full back wonderfully crossed in, before Wilde converted. The former Chester City striker powerfully volleyed in leaving Niki-Lee Bulmer with no chance.
Deep into injury time, Seargeant added a third with a delightful finish from the edge of the box to complete a well fought win.
The score also ensured that captain Paul Harrison who prior to kick off was presented with a commemorative plate, in recognition of his outstanding contribution, kept another clean sheet, therefore ensuring that TNS have not conceded a home league goal this season.
The New Saints line up was Paul Harrison (C), Simon Spender, Phil Baker, Kai Edwards, Chris Marriott, Aeron Edwards (Sam Finley 57), Chris Seargeant, Alex Darlington (Matty Williams 82), Chris Jones, Jamie Mullan and Greg Draper (Mike Wilde 57).
The unused substitutes for TNS were Ryan Kerhsaw, Jordan Wells and Aaron Simms.
The Rhyl line up was Niki-Lee Bulmer, Matty Woodward, Chris Rimmer, Ryan Astles, Liam Benson, Tom Roberts, Paul McManus (C), Michael Walsh (Danny Laverty 81), Mark Cadwallader, David Forbes (Steve Lewis 70) and Jason Oswell (Jon Bathurst 70)
The unused substitutes for Rhyl were Stefan Halewood, Mark Powell and Ryan Smith.