Edwards and Routledge fire Saints to victory
Aeron Edwards made it four goals in two games as The New Saints secured a 2-0 victory at new boys Llanelli to remain three points clear at the top of the JD Welsh Premier.
In their first visit to Stebonheath Park in six years, Edwards gave the defending champions the ideal start with a ninth-minute opener before fellow midfielder Jon Routledge added a second right on half-time.
The Saints had further chances, particularly in the first period, but that was how the scoring remained against their battling hosts who continue to languish in the basement places.
Both keepers were called into early action, TNS skipper Paul Harrison saving a free-kick from Jordan Davies, while at the other end Oliver Davies was equal to Danny Redmond’s effort after the midfielder had cut in from the right.
But the Saints were ahead on nine minutes when Edwards – who netted a hat-trick in the midweek 6-0 hammering of Aberystwyth Town – continued where he left off after being teed up by good work in the box from Dean Ebbe.
Edwards had the ball in the net again, but this time the flag was up for offside, while Simon Spender headed against the post from a Chris Marriott cross midway through the half.
It was then the turn of Redmond to rattle the upright from outside the box on 28 minutes, and the same player was narrowly wide with another effort seven minutes later.
The Saints continued to press, Redmond having another shot saved, Ebbe then headed over before a second goal arrived a minute before half-time when Routledge’s firm strike beat keeper Davies.
Straight after the break, Ebbe just failed to connect with an inviting cross by Spender, while substitute Jamie Mullan saw a goal-bound shot deflected wide on 78 minutes.
Victory means the Saints have now netted 22 goals from their first six league outings, while conceding just two.
Second-placed Connah’s Quay Nomads stayed in touching distance of the leaders after sinking Newtown 3-0 at the Deeside Stadium.
Jay Owen volleyed the first after just 52 seconds, Ryan Wignall doubled the lead on 71 minutes before Callum Morris headed a third.