AN ALEX Darlington double and a first TNS goal from Kai Edwards saw The New Saints maintain a six-point lead over the chasing pack as they head the table going into the second-half of the season.
Darlington found the net twice inside the opening 45 minutes with Edwards scoring his first goal for the club on the hour to effectively kill the game as a contest to leave Aberystwyth outside the coveted top six places at the mid-season split.
The win leaves Saints harbouring a comfortable cushion over nearest rivals, Airbus UK, with Bangor and Prestatyn lying a further three points behind.
Former Wrexham striker Darlington scored his seventh goal of the season after just five minutes when he profited from good work by Simon Spender whose cross gave him the opportunity to open the scoring from close range.
An ankle injury to Steve Evans saw the burly defender depart soon after however with Edwards coming on to replace him in a back four that has conceded just three goals in their last eight league games.
But his injury failed to deter the reigning Welsh Premier League Champions as their continued pressure resulted in a second goal for Darlington who pounced on 38 minutes to lash home the ball when Aberystwyth’s defence failed to clear a dangerous Chris Seargeant free-kick.
Aberystwyth rarely threatened as their hopes of a top six finish faded in favour of Carmarthen who claimed the available berth courtesy of a 4-2 win over Newtown and after Connah’s Quay were deducted a point for fielding an ineligible player.
However, none of that mattered to Craig Harrison’s side as Edwards rose to power home a 60th minute Chris Jones corner to help register a comfortable win before TNS take on Port Talbot this Saturday at 2.15pm.