Craig Harrison believes his TNS side were able to push past a dogged Carmarthen side who came to frustrate the Welsh Premier League champions at The Venue on Saturday.
Goals from Ryan Brobbel and Adrian Cieslewicz in the first period was enough to give TNS all three points, helping them bounce from midweek defeat at Connah’s Quay.
Harrison felt his side should have had the game sewn up by half-time but admitted Carmarthen’s tactics and a change in personnel added to a frustrating day.
“We’ve bounced back with a good win, but it’s no exaggeration it should have been 5-1 at half-time,” he said. “They had a good opportunity in the first half but their lad missed the target completely.
“We had up to nine opportunities in the first half, and in the second half they closed up and just didn’t want to get beaten by too much.
“It was like Cardiff Met again – we didn’t take the chances. But Brobbel scored a good goal straight from the training ground, which was pleasing.
“But it was hard. Carmarthen go man-for-man apart from the goalkeepers and at one point Brobbel was marked by a man getting the ball in his own box and followed him down.
“Everyone’s different and it’s a tactic they’ve used in the past, but on a poor pitch it’s harder to deal with as you need two or three touches. On a better pitch, we can use the ball better.
“I changed a couple of things on Saturday. Chris Marriott could have played if it was the last game of the season while Ryan Pryce started his Middlesbrough trial this week.
“James Jones played out of position but did really well, while I gave Aeron Edwards a rest as he’s been picking up little muscle injuries. I don’t think people realise how much work he gets through in games.”
The Saints had only their second league defeat inflicted upon them at Connah’s Quay last Tuesday and Harrison admitted his players couldn’t stem the constant bombardment of their box.
He added: “There were multiple circumstances for the defeat to Connah’s Quay last week.
“We didn’t deal with the very direct way they played, with lots of long balls from almost the halfway line.
“They were just pumped into our box. I’m saying we didn’t deal with it but they must have done that about 30 times from set-plays, corners and long throws.
“They had the chance to put the ball in our box and scored two goals from it.
“The pitch was disgusting. It was terrible, very bobbly and patchy, and it was clearly part of the plan.
“That’s just the way it is. Our two defeats this season have been away at Carmarthen on a very poor pitch and Connah’s Quay on an even poorer pitch, which isn’t too concerning.”
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