THE New Saints maintained their four-point lead at the top of the JD Cymru Premier with a comfortable 3-0 win against Aberystwyth Town.
Two first-half goals from Declan McManus, and a second-half header from Ryan Astles got the job done for The Saints, but Anthony Limbrick will have been disappointed that his side weren’t more clinical in front of goal.
With four minutes gone, The New Saints almost broke the deadlock, and would have were it not for a great save from Gregor Zabret, who tipped wide Declan McManus’ powerful strike at full stretch.
Just two minutes later though, McManus did grab the opener, expertly dispatching a penalty after Ryan Brobbel was fouled in the box.
The Scottish forward continued to cause problems for the side in yellow, and hit the roof of the net with a curling strike, before sending a golden chance to double the advantage wide.
It was all TNS as the half progressed, and Leo Smith, Brobbel and Jordan Williams all went close to making the score 2-0.
Head coach, Limbrick, would’ve been frustrated that his side were failing to capitalise on their dominance, especially when he watched Brobbel strike the post from the edge of the box.
But with three minutes to go before the half-time whistle, the pressure eventually paid off, as McManus finally grabbed his second of the night.
A delicate lay-off from Smith left the number nine with an easy finish, and he tapped home from close range past the helpless goalkeeper.
Not resting on his laurels, McManus almost grabbed his hat-trick just two minutes after the restart, button that occasion, watched his effort come back off the post.
The Aber shot-stopper was called into action again in minute 64, pushing Ben Clark’s powerful strike around the post, and it was from the resulting corner, that the home side wrapped up the win.
It was Ryan Astles who converted the header, making the score 3-0 on the night – a scoreline that finally reflected The Saints’ superiority in the match.
The visitors had penalty appeals turned down late in the game, as they pushed for a consolation goal with no success, and McManus had one final chance to snatch a hat-trick in stoppage time, but failed to convert from inside the area.
Next up for Limbrick’s side is a tough away trip to the Deeside Stadium, as they take on Craig Harrison’s Connah’s Quay Nomads live on Sgorio on Saturday (Oct 9).