BANGOR City, hit by an injury to Lee Webber and then the dismissal of Martin Beattie, reckoned they were worth a point in a pulsating tussle with the champions.
The New Saints escaped with a win late on when home raider Les Davies fired against a defender’s legs and Sion Edwards dragged his effort across the face of the target.
City’s frustrated manager Nev Powell said: “We were desperately unlucky not to get something in the last five minutes, because even though we were down to 10 men our commitment was superb.
“The crowd were behind us giving us marvellous support. They would have been made up if we had gained that equaliser, which was what we deserved.
“In The New Saints we were playing a quality team, and after they had shaded the first half we performed as equals in an even second half.”
City had got off to a dream start, gaining the lead on six minutes thanks to Mark Smyth, who finished off from five yards after taking Davies’ pass.
TNS were back on level terms close to the half hour through Alfie Carter, who punished a loose ball following a rebound off keeper Paul Smith.
But Webber hobbled out of the action on 40 minutes and TNS celebrated the decider goal on 68, when Mike Wilde’s free header converted Luke Holden’s left cross. Beattie was booked a second time on 71 minutes.