Welsh Premier League

The New Saints 2

Cardiff Met 1

The New Saints extended their unbeaten run to 14 games in all competitions and opened a three-point gap over second-placed Connah’s Quay Nomads with a hard-fought win over Cardiff Met.

Saints almost led within a minute as Greg Draper’s shot was saved by Daniel Evans in the Met goal after good work by Christian Seargeant.

Met hit back in the 12th minute with a chance of their own as Eliot Evans fired in a left-footed effort from 16 yards which was saved by Paul Harrison.

The Met went close again on 27 minutes; Eliot Evans again denied by Harrison as his curling effort was tipped over by the veteran keeper.

Simon Spender could have broken the deadlock a minute later, but he fired his left-foot shot narrowly over the bar from six yards after he was fed by Jamie Mullan.

Harrison denied Cardiff, and Eliot Evans, again as his shot was parried away for a corner, which led to Adam Ruscrow’s effort flashing narrowly wide of the TNS skipper’s left-hand post.

TNS were denied by Daniel Evans after he saved acrobatically from Draper’s delicate lob on 41 minutes, when the Kiwi striker was released by Jon Routledge.

On the hour, Saints came closest to breaking the deadlock when Mullan struck the base of Daniel Evans’s right-hand post with a firm header from the returning Chris Marriott’s corner.

A minute later, he was provider again, but this time Seargeant failed to beat Daniel Evans when he was perfectly placed to score.

However, 10 minutes later, TNS took the lead when Marriott's low ball on the left found Mullan, who pulled the ball back for Routledge to volley home from seven yards out.

On 78 minutes, it looked game over as Draper continued his fine scoring form with an overhead kick from five yards past Daniel Evans.

But on 81 minutes, Spender was deemed to have handled the ball on the line – despite claims it had already gone in – and he was shown a straight red and Ruscrow slotted the spot kick home to give Met a lifeline.

The visitors spurned two more chances to score in the dying minutes as Emlyn Lewis sent a header wide and Dylan Evans fired an effort straight at Harrison.

TNS: Harrison, Spender, Marriott, Rawlinson, Routledge, Seargeant (Darlington 90), Brobbel (Roberts 86), Draper, Mullan, Leak, Holland (Edwards 70)

Subs not used: Jones, Fletcher, Parry, Clark  

n Meanwhile, Saints booked a Nathaniel MG League Cup semi-final date at Connah’s Quay Nomads for November 20 after they saw off a spirited Caernarfon Town last week.

Goals from Seargeant and Alex Darlington were enough to see them past Town and will they travel to the Deeside Stadium for a 7.45pm kick-off.