TNS 2 Bala Town 0

They got the win they needed - but it was not enough for TNS, who will have to settle for a runners up spot and a place in the Europa league conference despite victory over Bala Town at Park Hall on Saturday.

The Saints were desperately hoping for a Connah's Quay slip-up as the reigning champions travelled to Penybont, but a two point advantage meant the Deesiders were always in the driving seat ahead of a crunch Cymru Premier weekend, and Andy Morrison's men duly delivered the victory they needed on a tense afternoon to render TNS' 2-0 victory meaningless in the title race.

Saints boss Anthony Limbrick made two changes with veteran winger Adrian Cieslewicz drafted in for the suspended Danny Redmond and Louis Robles preferred to record signing Adam Roscrow up front.

Meanwhile Bala manager Colin Caton made five swaps from his side's dramatic 1-0 victory over Penybont in midweek, with Anthony Stephens, Kieran Smith, Antony Kay and Lassana Mendes returning to the starting lineup, with Harri Lloyd also making a rare start between the sticks in place of Alex Ramsay.

After a competitive start, the hosts got off to a flying start when Ben Clark gave Saints an early lead.

Louis Robles played a neat reverse pass through the left hand channel which Clark latched on to before neatly rounding Lloyd and finishing into an empty net to make it 1-0.

TNS were dealt a blow in the 19th minute however, when Ryan Harrington was sent off for a foul on Bala's Kieran Smith.

The Saints right back never looked comfortable dealing with a bouncing ball on the slippery Park Hall surface, and he was robbed by Smith on the edge of the penalty area before dragging him back in cynical fashion.

Referee Iwan Griffith judged him to be the last man and reached for his red card immediately to howls of protest from Saints players, who felt Keston Davies was well placed to cover.

With the visitors making full advantage of their extra man, the lively Kieran Smith spurned an opportunity to draw level when he volleyed an effort narrowly wide from the edge of the penalty area after Lassana Mendes cross was headed clear by Ryan Astles in the 25th minute.

After the welcome arrival of half-time had given them the opportunity to reorganise, the Saints started the second-half in much brighter fashion, but were again left cursing referee Griffith when Davies appeared to be hauled down in the box by Bala's Nathan Peate.

The decision seemed clear, but the resulting TNS protests were met with complete indifference from the man in the middle.

However the 10 men extended their lead just moments later through experienced winger Adrian Cieslewicz.

Ryan Brobbel jinked his way into the Bala penalty area before squaring to Cieselwicz, who fired home an unstoppable low drive past Lloyd to make it 2-0.

Montgomeryshire based Bala midfielder Will Evans almost pegged back the home side in the 65th minute when he fired in a sensational curling drive from distance, only to see the ball drift inches wide of Paul Harrison's right hand post.

With 10 minutes left on the clock and with Saints legs tiring, Harrison was forced into a smart save when Bala substitute Henry Jones fired in from the edge of the penalty area, to preserve his clean sheet.

The 10 men of TNS held on comfortably to ensure they held up their end of the bargain in the title race - but were left to contemplate a second successive season finishing off the Cymru Premier pace and outside the champions league qualifying places.

TNS: Harrison, Marriott, Davies, Routledge, Brobbel (Smith 71), Cieslewicz (Draper 78), Mullan (Bailey 87), Harrington, Astles, Robles (Holland 78), Clark. Subs not used: Williams, Hudson, Roscrow

Bala: Lloyd, Burns, Smith, Peate, Stephens, Evans (Davies 72), K Smith, Kay, Gosset (Jones 62), Mendes(Leslie 58), Venables. Subs not used: Ramsay, Davies, Kelly