The New Saints boss Scott Ruscoe feels Saturday’s early season top-of-the table clash with Barry Town (2.30pm) is a chance to lay down a marker against their rivals.

The South Wales side make the trip to Oswestry on Saturday, hoping to extend their lead at the top to four points after Saints bounced back from the draw with Cardiff Met to beat Carmarthen Town 6-2 last weekend.

Ruscoe has warned his injury-hit squad that they will have to be at their very best on Saturday to beat Barry, who were title rivals until the last few weeks of the 2018/19 season.

But he expects his side to have enough to return to the Cymru Premier summit.

“I think Saturday is a chance for us to lay down a proper marker for the season,” he said.

“Barry have started well and are a point above us going into the game on Saturday and it’s a good carrot for the players to again go back to the top of the league against a good competitor.

“They’re a team that did really well last season – yes, they had their ups and downs but for a club that was actually relatively new to the league last season, I thought they were excellent.

“We’ve got nine players missing, so we’re going to be looking to name as settled a side as we can over the coming weeks.

“But having said that, it gives the young players and the squad players a chance. We’re OK, we’re still very strong with our starting XI.

“I don’t think Barry will offer too much difference from last season – they’ve added to the squad and have strengthened their starting XI.

“They are strong, pass the ball well, create chances and are good on the counter-attack.”

Saints had to come from behind on Saturday, with Carmarthen scoring twice in the opening 11 minutes to set up a potential upset.

However, TNS hit back hard to seal the win, and mistakes aside, Ruscoe insisted he was delighted with his side’s overall performance.

“I was not that happy at 11 minutes into the game to be fair,” he added.

“One was a mistake to be fair, a miscommunication between players and ran into their lad who scored.

“Jon Routledge stuck a leg out and he’s scored an own goal. they’re mistakes that can happen and it was the fact that we went 2-0 down so early.

“But I never doubted we would win the game and I said at half-time that we could win by five, six or even seven.

“I think we did ok all game – they didn’t cause us to many problems as I think we caused our own ones.

“Overall, I was really pleased.”

Saints were in action last night (Tuesday) in the Nathaniel MG Cup second round against former title rivals Bangor, as they made the trip to Menai Straits.

They are then in Friday night action next week, heading back to Snowdonia to face Caernarfon Town in the league on October 4.

For full reaction to their cup clash, head online to