Connah's Quay Nomads 0 TNS 1

DECLAN McManus struck the only goal of the game as TNS extended their lead at the top of the JD Cymru Premier.

Meanwhile the home defeat realistically ended Nomads' hopes of a third title with Craig Harrison's men now firmly in a scrap for top six qualification ahead of the mid-season split.

A scrappy start to the game saw both sides battling for the early ascendancy and it took nine minutes for the first chance to arrive with Chris Marriott’s free-kick was saved by Oliver Byrne.

Down the other end, some good defensive work from Ryan Astles stopped an inviting Kris Owens cross from reaching its intended target with 14 minutes gone before a late challenge by Keston Davies earned the TNS man a yellow card four minutes later.

With 37 minutes played Jon Routledge;s deflected effort almost snuck into the far corner of the net before Danny Redmond curled wide just a minute later.

The best chance of the match came on the stroke of half-time as McManus spun with the ball on the edge of the area with the Scottish forward unleashing a powerful strike towards goal and forced Byrne to tip over the crossbar at full stretch.

The second-half started in the same scrappy fashion as the first.

Again the Saints went forwar and Ryan Brobbel flashed an effort wide of the far post after a threatening counter-attack on 56 minutes.

Two minutes later the Saints were rewarded for their pressure as ex-TNS man, Jamie Mullan fouled Jordan Williams inside the area and McManus stepped up to the spot and dispatched the penalty expertly.

Danny Holmes had the chance to hit back immediately for Craig Harrison’s side but blazed the ball wide of the target from the edge of the box before a header from Aeron Edwards went over the crossbar,

With three minutes remaining a confrontation between Keston Davies and George Horan resulted in both players being shown their marching orders, leaving the two sides a man light for the remainder of the game.

Connah’s Quay Nomads thought they had snatched a point with just seconds to go courtesy of Declan Poole only for referee Lee Evans to rule out the effort for offside as TNS celebrated three hard-fought points in Deeside.

NOMADS: Byrne, Disney, Horan, Mullan, Morris Harrison (Curran 76), Insall (Eardley 77), Poole, Holmes, Owens, Edwards. Subs: Calderbank, Harrington, J Davies, Owen, Williams.

TNS: Harrison, Marriott, K Davies, Astles, Routledge, Brobbel, McManus, Redmond, Williams (Robles 85), Clark (Ceislewicz 77), D Davies. Subs: Parry, Ebbe, Leblanc, Baker, Holland