The New Saints boss Scott Ruscoe says he won’t ring the changes at Newtown today (2pm) despite the Welsh Premier League leaders’ tough Christmas schedule.
The trip south is Saints’s third game in a week, following Friday night’s 4-0 thumping of Aberystwyth Town courtesy of a Greg Draper treble and wonder strike from Chris Marriott.
Ruscoe has long insisted a successful festive period will move TNS towards another league title, but he’s expecting a tough clash with the Latham Park side.
“It’s a tough game away at Newtown – it always is,” he said. “They always want to put one over us and they’ve beaten us, and picked up draws.
“We’ll be watching that and making sure it doesn’t happen again. We’ve had the two clean sheets and we’re definitely targeting another one.
“At this time of the season we’re building momentum with good performances built on that. Last Tuesday was one of the best this season.
“I don’t want to be making too many changes and won’t be taking Newtown for granted.
“It’s a busy period and we want the three points before Newtown again, Prestatyn and Bangor and then the cup games in January.
“It’s a busy time for us.”
On Friday night, Saints made another fast start as New Zealand international Draper put them ahead after just six minutes, being the right man at the right time to slot past former TNS man Chris Mullock.
Draper doubled his own, and TNS’s, tally with a fine header inside the 18-yard box which evaded Mullock on 21 minutes.
On 32 minutes, the game was all-but-sealed as Marriott unleashed a thunderbolt of a strike from around 20 yards which left Mullock with no chance.
The visitors worked hard to gain a foothold in the game, forcing more corners than their hosts and Paul Harrison was tested on a number of occasions.
However, Draper sealed the points and his hat-trick when on 83 minutes, he finished off an excellent team move and sealed his first treble of the season.
The win caps off off a good week for Ruscoe as his team sits six points above Bangor with a game in hand too.
He admitted Draper wasn’t fully fit to start but was delighted with his striker’s contribution.
He added: “Two wins and two cleans sheets in a week, plus Greg has got a hat-trick – we’re very happy at the moment.
“It was touch and go for Greg before the game as he got a kick in training. It was one we had to have to have a look at but we passed him three quarters fit and he still got a hat-trick.
“That’s what he can do; give him half a chance and he will score goals for us.
“It was great for Chris to score. He just stepped in and hammered it past Mullock, which I think he enjoyed.
“Aber pressed us from the first minute, which we expected. They gave us a game in that first 20 minutes, which was great.
“The fact that Steve Saunders, Christian Seargeant and Adrian Cieslewicz were all on TNS Radio duties shows the strength in the squad.
“We’ve got options on the bench permanently and we tried to use our three subs because we’ve got another game on Boxing Day which we’re looking forward to.”