Saints hit five to open up gap at the top


Robert Doman

TWO goals from Alex Darlington saw him top the TNS scoring charts alongside Mike Wilde as he scored either side of the break to help his side open up a ten point gap at the top of the Welsh Premier League.
Wilde was also on target for the defending champions as The New Saints scored five for the second time in as many days following their Welsh FA Cup win over Rhyl, to leave Craig Harrison's men celebrating a job well done in their quest to emulate last season's double-winning campaign.
But there is still some way to go before The New Saints can be assured of defending both titles although Greg Draper and Ryan Fraughan gave fans even more reason to be confident as both players added to the scoreline late on.
With Bangor and Prestatyn holding each other to a draw and Airbus without a fixture, Saints opened their account on 17 minutes when Wilde profited from Chris Seargeant's spellbinding run to poke home the rebound after the former Everton man's shot came back off the post.
Saints right-back Simon Spender then delivered the perfect low cross for Darlington to score his first of the afternoon as the marksman slotted home an easy 30th minute finish from inside the six-yard box.
And Darlington scored his second 15 minutes into the second-half when Aeron Edwards fed Chris Jones on the right for the winger to feed the in-form striker with his tenth league goal of the season.
Martin Rose found Paul Harrison in good form a minute later as Port Talbot tried to force their way back into the game and Lee Surman headed over from Matty Crowell's inswinging corner.
But the Steelmen left themselves exposed in injury-time allowing Saints to score twice and rub salt into the wound, firstly through substitute Draper who rounded Steven Hall before rolling the ball into the net, and then courtesy of Fraughan who curled the ball into the top corner from just inside the penalty area.
The ongoing controversy surrounding the points deduction given to Connah's Quay for allegedly fielding an ineligible player is still yet to be resolved, meaning TNS are currently without a fixture going into this weekend.

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