The New Saints fire six of the best to open a lead
Aeron Edwards fired a hat-trick and also missed a penalty as The New Saints opened up a three-point gap at top of the JD Welsh Premier after brushing aside Aberystwyth Town 6-0 at Park Hall.
Stung by their shock IRN-BRU Cup exit to Queens Park a few days before, the defending champions had a point to prove as they quickly stamped their authority on a one-sided affair.
They stormed into a four-goal lead at the break, and struck twice more in the second period to take their tally to 16 goals in just three home league games this term.
Making three changes, the Saints never looked back after going in front on 15 minutes when Dean Ebbe released Edwards, who neatly lifted the ball over keeper Leigh Jenkins.
They doubled their advantage on 33 minutes when Adrian Cieslewicz scythed through the visiting defence before playing in full-back Simon Spender to provide the finish.
Edwards then extended the margin four minutes later when coolly chipping Jenkins, and the midfielder then spurned a golden chance to complete a first-half hat-trick when seeing his penalty saved by Jenkins diving to his right.
With TNS storming forward, it was only a brief reprieve as Jamie Mullan tapped in a fourth to complete a dominant first-half display.
The second period continued in similar vein as the home side held a tight grip in a comfortable evening’s work.
They added a fifth goal on 64 minutes when winger Cieslewicz stabbed home after Ebbe’s header from a Spender cross had fallen into his path.
Substitute Jack Rimmer missed a good opportunity at the other end, but TNS made it 6-0 when Edwards volleyed in his hat-trick six minutes from time.
The manner of the victory was the perfect response after the Saints had disappointingly bowed out of the IRN-BRU Cup last weekend.
It was a good night all round for the Saints as second-placed Connah’s Quay Nomads slipped to a 1-0 defeat at home to Caernarfon Town, with Jamie Breese getting the only goal of the game.