The New Saints boss Scott Ruscoe believes Saturday’s win at Connah’s Quay Nomads to propel his side to the top of the table was probably the best showing of the season.

Goals from the returning Aeron Edwards and a second-half strike from Ryan Brobbel was enough to seal the win and put Saints a point ahead of Nomads, with a game-in-hand as well.

And Ruscoe admitted he was most pleased by his entire squad of players sticking to their game plan throughout and standing up to the physical challenges set by a Nomads team desperate to build a five-point gap.

“I think that’s probably our best performance of the season, when you look at our big wins such as Barry away,” he said.

“We were excellent in the game, scored two and none conceded and we had total dominance; it’s going to be hard to dominate games there possession-wise because the ball wasn’t in play enough.

“That’s not being disrespectful – it’s a truth to say that when they get the ball, it’s kicked up in the air and a lot of the time we have to kick it off the pitch, or up it, to gain possession.

“It was difficult because of the relentless pressure they put us under.

“They knew where they wanted to play the ball and who to knock it down to but I think we dealt with that brilliantly.

“I can’t remember Paul Harrison having a big save to make – there was one straight at him and a couple of things he came for.

“But they haven’t carved us open, they didn’t leave us susceptible to anything and it was really pleasing to see how the game plan certainly worked.”

Saints showed their flexibility when Kurtis Byrne was injured in the warm-up, to be replaced by Edwards, who himself was only making his first tentative steps back into the first team following injury.

Ruscoe admitted the lack of a centre-forward ultimately worked in their favour, leading directly to the opener, and he added that the message was then one of patience and waiting for a goal that duly came.

He added: “It was a matter of being patient for the second goal because I knew it would come – I told the lads I wasn’t in a rush to get one now but let them try to score and we’ll hit them on the counter.

“That was the game plan; suffocate the middle and have players around there to take the ball. Without a centre forward, we knew the centre-backs would be redundant and would have to come into the centre of the pitch.

“Our first goal came from that, Aeron got into the space and it was a good finish.”

Saints are now a point ahead of their title rivals but come their next fixture, TNS may be two points behind but with two games in hand as Nomads play this weekend against Newtown before they play in the Irn-Bru Cup final.

Barry Town United, who lost 3-0 to Newtown on Saturday – who are only six points behind them – and are starting to slip away and are seven points behind TNS, having played the same number of games.

Saints face Bala Town on Friday, March 22 at 7.45pm and the Lakesiders come to Park Hall as the bottom side of the top group, with a five-point gap between themselves and Caernarfon Town in fifth.

But Bala do have two games in hand, starting with a trip down south to Barry on Saturday while their second game is against TNS on April 3 at Maes Tegid.

n Meanwhile, details have been announced for Saints’ clash with Barry in the Welsh Cup semi-final, which will be held at Newtown’s Latham Park.

The match is on Saturday, March 30 (7.30pm) and will be live on S4C.

The second semi-final between Cardiff Metropolitan University and Connah’s Quay Nomads, will also be held at Latham Park, a day later on Sunday, March 31, kicking off at 12.30pm.

Fans wishing to make the short trip to the home of the Robins are urged to stay up-to-date for further details.