The NEW SAINTS boss Scott Ruscoe said his side’s willingness to do the dirty work is what brought them a step closer to the Welsh Premier League title after beating Connah’s Quay Nomads on Saturday.

Jon Routledge’s first-half goal was enough to seal all three points for Saints, who had skipper and keeper Paul Harrison sent off late on.

But Ruscoe admits his players can all but have sealed a seventh consecutive title with the win in Deeside and a home win against Bala Town tonight.

“We did the dirty work well and got the clean sheet and the three points,” he said.

“Saturday was a huge win – I said to the lads that we had two huge games in four days and that if we get six points there, it’s done.

“It puts Connah’s Quay and Bala out of it and leaves the others just chasing second place. “Then it’s a case of while not relaxing, there’s less pressure because you know the league is nearly almost won.

“If we beat Bala then we only need four points.

“The goal from Jon was a good move although there wasn’t a great deal of quality in the game, I’ll be honest.

“Also, to score on 43 minutes was perfect timing with it being just before half-time. Jamie Mullan did really well for the goal to play Jon in and it was a ruthless finish; exactly what we’re asking for.

“When we do get a chance, we took and it killed them going in the half-time break. There’s certain way you can win football matches.”

Any fears that the Irn-Bru Cup defeat to Dumbarton last week would play on TNS minds were soon dismissed as Ruscoe’s men dug deep for all three points.

He added: “It was great to see the lads fully-focussed, even down to the subs and we were at it on the front foot from the start.

“Paul made a great ‘Gordon Banks’ style save and Steve Saunders headed one off the line – it was all true grit and determination stuff that you wouldn’t associate with TNS.

“I see it because I know them but from the outside, it was a Connah’s Quay style performance as they have a mean defence.”

Saints now sit 12 points ahead of Bangor City in the Welsh Premier League, having reached 60 points while tonight's clash with Bala could see that lead stretched to 15 points.

After that, there's only 18 points available until the end of the season, but with two cup rounds pencilled in for March, Saints may have to wait until March 24 to seal the title.