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THE New Saints extended their winning sequence to 18 games as they defeat Rhyl 2-1 at Belle Vue.

The Lilywhites were handed a dream start in the first minute when former TNS marksman Carl Lamb intercepted a Connell Rawlinson back-pass to give the hosts the lead inside the first 10 seconds.

TNS were back on level terms after 13 minutes when Greg Draper squared the ball for Alex Darlington to convert from close range but had a lucky escape when keeper Paul Harrison made a mess of a Kristian Pierce corner, but somehow the ball ended up back in his hands.

Rhyl's hopes took a turn for the worse on 33 minutes when keeper Owen Evans was red-carded for handling the ball outside his area.

Rory Crowther took the gloves for his WPL debut but things turned sour on the hour when, straight after a Rhyl penalty claim in the TNS box, he brought down substitute Scott Quigley and Darlington bagged his second of the night from the penalty spot.

Kristian Pierce went close to an equaliser when he flashed a shot just wide at the far post from a Tom Hartley cross before Crowther redeemed himself with a great double save from Adrian Cieslewicz and Quigley to keep TNS at bay.

And there was almost an equaliser for the Lillies when Oliver Buckley crossed from the left but Lamb could only make a weak connection and failed to trouble Harrison.