CARDIFF Met could have celebrated the New Year with a guaranteed place in the Welsh Premier's top-six after the split, but they must put the champagne on ice after going down to a home defeat at the hands of Carmarthen Town, who boosted their own hopes substantially with a 3-1 win.
The students took an early lead when Adam Roscow pounced inside the box after good work from Bradley Woolridge down the right. But the game was turned on its head inside two second half minutes when Liam Thomas was taken down in the box and Mark Jones scored from the resulting spot kick.
Moments later, Kyle Bassett beat his marker down the right and crossed for Thomas to fire home. And the points were sealed when Ceri Morgan's fierce drive was pushed over the bar by home keeper Will Fuller, with Mark Jones heading home the third goal from the resulting corner.
Rivals Aberystwyth Town snatched a stoppage-time equaliser to force a 2-2 draw at Newtown and keep their top-six hopes alive, four points adrift of the Old Gold but with a game in hand. The Robins were so weakened by injuries that they were able to name only two substitutes and fell behind when Joe Clarke produced a goal out of nowhere on 42 minutes.
But the hosts hit back after the break when Neil Mitchell bulleted home a header from a Craig Williams corner. Ryan Kershaw crashed a shot off the crossbar and then provided the opening for Luke Boundford to take a touch before firing past keeper Chris Mullock to put Newtown in front.
And the points looked destined to be staying in mid-Wales until, in the 92nd-minute, Clarke completed his brace with the last kick of the game.