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JD Cymru Premier: Weekend Round-Up

Craig Harrison is not used to losing which is why he intends to sift through the remnants of a first defeat of the season for The New Saints and has hinted changes will follow.

The Cymru Premier League leaders went down to a dramatic 3-2 weekend defeat at Cardiff Met, leaving manager Harrison in a reflective mood.

“We have some decisions to make on selection before next week because I can’t find many positives to take from that game,” said Harrison.

“We gave away three terrible goals and had a crazy 10 minutes in the second half when we conceded two poor goals.

“If you are not completely at it, then you don’t come to places like this and win games, so it will now be interesting to see the mental attitude of the whole group and how we react to this.”

The bigger picture for the league was the value of a very competitive display by the students from Cardiff Met, who earned their victory by coming from 2-0 down.

The Saints are still 15 points clear at the top, however, as their nearest challengers Connah’s Quay Nomads could only manage a 1-1 draw at Newtown.

The weekend belonged to boys from the Met, though, as they had been thumped 7-0 at Cyncoed last September the last time they hosted The New Saints and then had lost 4-0 away.

Met skipper Chris Baker scored twice as the students rallied from two goals down, although he left the field injured and on a stretcher late on.

TNS had gone through Phase 1 of the season unbeaten, but they were rattled in a second-half the home side dominated.

Leo Smith and Adam Wilson had given the leaders what appeared to be a comfortable 2-0 lead.

But Baker got one back for the Archers just before then break before player-coach Eliot Evans, celebrating his 200th game for the club, levelled with his sixth league goal of the season just past the hour mark.

The Archers were now firing on all cylinders and Baker backed up the momentum with his second goal five minutes later to leave TNS trailing.

It might have been a more profitable day for second-placed Connah’s Quay Nomads, but in the end they were grateful to escape with a draw from Newtown.

Michael Wilde’s last-minute leveller, created by Josh Williams, gave the Nomads their point after Louis Robles had put the hosts ahead in the sixth minute.

It looked like the Robins would hang on for three points at Latham Park before Wilde’s late intervention.

Bala Town and Penybont ground out a 0-0 stalemate at Maes Tegid, with the hosts probably the happier with a point following the dismissal of Nathan Peate who was shown a second yellow card 19 minutes from time.

In the Play Off Conference, there were comfortable home wins for Caernarfon Town, Flint Town United and Pontypridd United.

Caernarfon remain top after a 2-0 victory over Haverfordwest County.

After a goalless first half, Laurie Bell broke the deadlock for the hosts in the 62nd minute and Darren Thomas sealed the three points 10 minutes later.

Second-placed Flint ran riot at Cae-y-Castell to record a thumping 5-0 win over visitors Aberystwyth Town.

French EFL veteran striker Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro got the ball rolling for the Silkmen in the sixth minute after being teed up by Okera Simmonds, who doubled the hosts’ advantage midway through the first half.

Chester loanee Zack Clarke wrapped up the points with Flint’s third goal two minutes into the second half before Akpa Akpro added his second and Flint’s fourth from the penalty spot on 62 minutes and Berti Diau completed the rout three minutes from time.

Pontypridd also enjoyed a comprehensive 4-0 victory over Airbus UK Broughton at USW Sport Park.

Ben Ahmun was the hat-trick hero for the Dragons. He opened the scoring in the eighth minute and Ben Williams-Margetson, who had created the opener, added a second in first-half stoppage time.

Ahmun got his second and Pontypridd’s third goal just before the hour mark and he took home the match ball after completing his treble in the third minute of time added on.

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