THE New Saints extended their JD Cymru Premier lead to 17 points after another professional performance against Caernarfon Town.
Leading 1-0 at the break thanks to a sensational Declan McManus effort, further second-half goals from Ryan Brobbel, Adrian Cieslewicz, and Jordan Williams ensured Anthony Limbrick’s side left The Oval with a handy 4-0 victory.
With just three games remaining in Phase One, the three points against The Canaries put The Saints in an increasingly strong position to clinch their first league title since the 2018/2019 season.
It was an evenly matched start to the game, with both sides enjoying chances in the opening stages.
With three minutes gone, Declan McManus flashed an effort wide from the edge of the penalty area, before some important defending at the other end prevented Mike Hayes from opening the scoring four minutes later.
The match continued in its end-to-end fashion throughout the opening half, and Caernarfon’s Sion Bradley almost made the breakthrough in the 22nd minute.
After a fast counter-attack, the Canaries’ number seven unleashed a powerful strike that flashed across the face of the TNS goal, and almost found a way into the far corner.
However, it was Anthony Limbrick’s team who struck first, thanks to a moment of magic from man on form, Declan McManus.
Receiving the ball at an awkward height inside the penalty area, the Scottish striker beat Tyler French with a spectacular acrobatic effort and scored his 19th league goal of the season in the process.
Following their opener, The Saints took control of the game, and Danny Davies, and McManus, both had chances to extend the lead before the break.
The visitors had to wait until minute 56 for the second goal to come though, and it was an equally good strike from Ryan Brobbel which increased the advantage.
The Northern Ireland under-21 international picked out the top corner with a trademark free-kick, leaving the goalkeeper no chance whatsoever as he made it 2-0.
With 67 minutes on the clock, the hosts had a golden chance to get back into the match, but after great work from Danny Gosset inside the penalty area, Mike Hayes failed to hit the target from close range.
Huw Griffiths’ side were made to rue that missed chance, as substitute, Adrian Cieslewicz, put the result beyond doubt in the 80th minute.
After McManus’ initial effort was saved well by the goalkeeper, the rebound fell kindly for the Polish winger, who made no mistake in adding his side’s third from close range.
The scoring wasn’t over though, as another substitute, Jordan Williams, got himself in on the act with a well-taken header four minutes from time.
The performance was another professional one from Limbrick’s side, who enjoyed good fortune once again with results elsewhere to extend their already comprehensive JD Cymru Premier lead further.
The New Saints are back in action this coming Tuesday (February 1), when they host Cefn Druids at Park Hall.
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