THE New Saints continued to build momentum towards the JD Welsh Cup final with a third consecutive win against Newtown on Easter Monday.
Ryan Brobbel opened the scoring with 65 minutes on the clock, before Jake Canavan wrapped up the points in stoppage time with his first league goal.
Just one game remains before the season finale at the Cardiff City Stadium – a home match against Caernarfon Town next Saturday.
It was Newtown who enjoyed the better of the opening few minutes, but The New Saints began to grow into the game quickly.
With nine minutes on the clock, Adrian Cieslewicz had the first chance of the match, sending a header onto the roof of the net from just outside the six yard box.
Eight minutes later, Anthony Limbrick’s side were threatening again, as Jordan Williams turned quickly with the ball inside the penalty area. He got his shot away, but it was deflected behind for a corner.
Keston Davies then had a chance with 25 minutes played, but the number four couldn’t keep his header down when he was picked out by Danny Redmond.
It was a quiet opening half, but things began to get more exciting following the restart.
In the 52nd minute, Williams managed to connect with Ben Clark’s inviting ball towards the back post, but his header went narrowly wide of the target.
Clark then sent a header of his own straight into the hands of Dave Jones four minutes later.
In the hopes of unlocking the Newtown defence, Limbrick turned to his bench, introducing both Jon Routledge and Ryan Brobbel for Alex Denny and Ben Clark.
And with 25 minutes to play the substitution came good, as Brobbel found the game’s opening goal.
The Northern Ireland under-21 international connected with Danny Redmond’s corner in the six yard box, beating Jones with a composed headed effort to give his side a deserved lead.
Three minutes later, it would’ve been 2-0, were it not for a superb save from Jones.
The ball dropped kindly for the incoming Keston Davies, who preceded to smash an effort towards goal from 30 yards out.
Somehow though, the goalkeeper managed to get a powerful hand to the ball to push it behind for a corner and keep his side in the game.
The Newtown shot-stopper rescued his side again in the 75th minute, making another good save at his near post to deny Brobbel a second.
Time was running out for the Robins, and with Bala leading at Caernarfon, they knew they needed to find a way back into the match to keep their hopes of European football alive.
Chris Hughes’ side threw everyone, including Dave Jones, forward for a corner in the second minute of stoppage time, leaving them exposed at the back.
It was a TNS head that was first to the ball, and a terrific challenge from Leo Smith on the edge of the box set Jake Canavan away.
The youngster was able to surge from one end to the other with relative ease, and scored his first JD Cymru Premier goal with a composed finish into the empty net.
The win was The New Saints’ 24th of the league campaign, and maintained their 21 point lead at the top of the JD Cymru Premier.
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