Following the draw this evening for the semi-finals of the Nathaniel MG Cup*, we chatted with our manager, Scott Ruscoe, for his thoughts on the upcoming game.
Going back in time and reflecting on the previous encounter between the sides, he began: “We have played them before, a few years ago now, in the Welsh Cup** so I’ve been there already. It was a grass pitch then but it’s 3G now.”
Recognising the excellent run that our opponents have had to date in the competition, Scott continued: “They’ve obviously done well so far in the Nathaniel MG Cup; they’ve beaten three JD Welsh Premier League sides to get to the last four. They’ve not had it easy and they’ve earned their place in the semi-final.”
“It’s good to go somewhere different as well, as we play lots of cup games against Welsh Premier League sides. I’m sure it will be a good game and their supporters will be out in force.”
When we asked the manager if he would have preferred a home tie, his response was immediate: “Of course we would, for several reasons. You’re always happy playing at home as it’s familiar territory. We’re good at home and used to making other teams work hard but it shouldn’t be any different when we go away.”
“Then there’s the travelling, the players haven’t played there before, but it’s a semi-final and you’re going to come up against some good teams.”
Finally, we put it to Scott that although there’s no such thing as an easy game, on paper at least, it’s the draw that The New Saints would have preferred. In his usual respectful way and refusing to take anything for granted, he concluded:
“If you look at the opposition and the fact that both Cardiff Met and Connah’s Quay have beaten us already this season, then yes. But if we are fortunate enough to get through to the final, I’m sure it’s going to be a decent tie whoever we get. If we get there.”
* Cambrian & Clydach Vale BGC v The New Saints FC. To be played on November 23/24 2018, confirmation will follow in due course.
**October 31 2009, round three. TNS FC won 2-0 away from home, with goals from John McKenna and Aeron Edwards.
Lead image: Scott Ruscoe with the Nathaniel MG Cup, following the win in last season’s final against Cardiff Metropolitan University at Aberystwyth Town’s Park Avenue. Credit: Brian Jones.