Dafabet Welsh Premier
Carmarthen Town 1
The New Saints 0
CHAMPAGNE was put on ice as TNS’ long unbeaten record ended at Richmond Park.
The Saints made the trip to Carmarthen knowing a point would all but settle the Dafabet Welsh Premier title with still a third of the season left to play.
However a Liam Thomas goal at the end of the first-half ensured the Saints would have to wait a little longer to lift the title.
Carmarthen went into the game on the back of a five-match unbeaten run, including a 1-0 win at Gap Connah’s Quay the previous Saturday, and put in a resilient, battling performance which saw them defend well.
The first chance came Saints’ way in the second minute when Ryan Brobbel ran into the box before having his low right foot shot from 15 yards held low to his right by Town keeper Lee Idzi.
However the Saints failed to dominate as they have a majority of games this season with Carmarthen causing problems throughout with their set pieces.
The more robust game-plan of the hosts continued to unsettle the Saints on a heavy surface with Ryan Brobbel hobbling off midway through the half.
Scott Quigley looked the Saints greatest threat, twice lashing wide early on while Alex Darlington’ was also wayward with his 34th minute effort.
On half-time the Saints were left stunned as Carmarthen snatched a shock lead when Declan Carroll’s corner was headed home by Liam Thomas.
The Saints continued to look for an opening after the break with Quigley’s ballooned shot on the hour followed by Adrian Cieslewicz, Jamie Mullan and Chris Marriott firing wide.
The Saints threw on Wes Fletcher in a desperate effort to salvage something from the game with Marriott seeing a shot blocked in a packed goalmouth as the Old Gold held out.
Saints manager Craig Harrison said: “I thought we were the better team throughout and they scored from a set play in what seemed three minutes added on at the end of the first-half. It was a tough, tricky and physical game but I don’t want to make any excuses.”
TNS: Harrison, Spender, Marriott, Saunders, Rawlinson, Edwards, Routledge, Cieslewicz, Brobbel, Quigley, Darlington. Subs: Wycherley, Leca, Mullan, Pryce, Fletcher, Draper, Ashworth
Att – 255