The New Saints have opened up a four-point gap at the top of the JD Welsh Premier League after a comfortable win against Connah’s Quay Nomads last night.

Two goals – one for Jamie Mullan plus a fine individual effort from Ryan Brobbel – inside the opening 15 minutes saw Scott Ruscoe’s men on the front foot from the start before Jon Routledge sealed the win late on.

Saints also have another game-in-hand on the teams trying to challenge them for top spot, meaning they could enter the new year seven points ahead.

Mullan put Saints ahead inside two minutes when he was first to the react to the rebound after Greg Draper’s effort was saved.

On 11 minutes, Brobbel showed what he is always capable of when he beat a handful of Nomads defenders before a cool finish to double Saints’s lead.

TNS continued to probe; Draper thought he had put the game beyond Connahs Quay but his finish on the stroke of half time was not given, while Saints had a let-off as Nathan Woolfe rattled the crossbar.

The returning Connell Rawlinson made a timely interception when he headed Matty Owen’s deflected shot off the goalline.

Saints were on course for the home win while Routledge’s low finish on 78 minutes added the gloss.

TNS: Harrison, Spender, Marriott, Hudson, Rawlinson, Holland, Routledge, Brobbel (Parry 81), Fletcher (Edwards 63), Mullan, Draper (Darlington 83)

Not Used: Jones, Leak, Clark, Pryce