Scott Ruscoe insists he is not concerned about his side’s defeat to Newtown in the opening phase two fixture last Friday.

TNS lost 2-1 after the Robins scored twice in the opening 25 minutes at Park Hall Stadium.

The defeat reduces Ruscoe’s side’s lead at the top of the table to just one point after Connah’s Quay Nomads won their match against Barry Town United.

Despite being critical of his team’s performance, Ruscoe believes his side just had an off day, and insists he is not worried about a possible run of poor results.

“We were below par,” he said. “I certainly think we weren’t as good as we have been in recent games.

“We’ve been excellent for the last two months leading up to this match and have a good record of results to show that.

“Some performances we’ve been far better than our opposition, but Newtown came to stop us playing and play on the counter and that’s exactly what they did.

“They defended well all game and they didn’t really work for the goals if I’m honest, but they certainly played their part and did very, very well.

“You have games like that – teams can sometimes go nine games playing excellently, and then have an off day on the 10th one.

“It happens – our players are human like everyone else’s.”

Adrian Cieslewicz scored in the 16th minute to draw level with Newtown who opened the scoring after just six minutes.

But after 21 minutes, Newtown were ahead again through Lifumpa Mwandwe’s header.

The Saints boss is certain his side will be able to return to the good form they have displayed throughout the season so far.

He added: “You don’t become a bad team over night, and that’s not happened to us.

“I’m not at all concerned going forward now; the last few games we’ve won with good performances.

“We beat Connah’s Quay and not long ago we beat Barry Town away 4-1 which was one of the best performances of the season so far.

“You don’t go from doing that, being consistent and keeping clean sheets to then all of a sudden have a problem.

“There is still nine games to go and we’re still top, even if it is just by a point.

“Us being four points clear allowed us this off day, and it’s better to have it now than further down the line.

“There’s still 27 points to play for and the lads are in good shape and are looking sharp, so I put it down to just being an off day.”

The Welsh champions travel to face Bala Town in their second phase two fixture on Friday at Maes Tegid (kick-off 8pm), and Ruscoe is hoping for a positive reaction from his players.

He said: “We had a good first half against Bala earlier in the season, and a poor second half and ended up losing 3-1. It’s one where we need to be at our best again – they’re in decent form again and are having a good season. We’ll definitely need to be upping our game.”