The starting eleven had one very obvious feature – there was no Byrne, Draper or Ebbe on the pitch. A tactical master plan or a desperate gamble? To many, especially on the outside, it may have looked like the latter but for those who know Scott Ruscoe and have an insight into his footballing mind via our day to day contact with the manager, there was no doubt about it.
The proof of the pudding, as they say, is in the eating and both the result and the performance speak for themselves. We have to give absolute credit to the players for the way that they adapted to the change. The musicians are always at the forefront but let’s not forget the conductor.
He likes scoring against Connah’s Quay, doesn’t he? Our Wales C international midfielder once again broke the deadlock, just as he did when the sides last took to the field in the JD Welsh Premier League.
With games against the Nomads always competitive, that first goal is vital and the opener on Saturday was no different as the visitors established a lead in front of the S4C cameras.
There was no second goal for the midfield dynamo on this occasion but there was one for the team and that’s our next talking point.
Along with Edwards, the Northern Ireland U21 international is also making a habit of scoring this season. A goal is a goal but if you can find the net in style then that’s always the icing on the cake and TNS’ second – and decisive – was a quality finish.
It was another excellent shift from Brobbel and that’s what we’ve come to expect from the ex-Middlesbrough player. His contribution, whether in goals or performance, has been a big positive for the side this season.
It’s A Team Game
Both goals for The New Saints were not only well-executed but also well-worked. Although it’s the player that gets the final touch who is always the one that is in the spotlight, nevertheless the assist, especially, is a vital ingredient in the mix.
In the case of TNS’ two goals, when you watch them again you can trace back, follow the build-up and observe the involvement of several players along the way. It may be Edwards and Brobbel on the score sheet but every other player on the pitch played a key part. It’s a team game.
The Title Race Is Over
As The New Saints head to the top of the table, with a game in hand, it’s all over for another season, isn’t it? No, it most certainly is not! I’ve come across some random social media comments over the weekend from the wider Welsh football fan community that have stated the trophy is staying at Park Hall for another twelve months at least.
Well, no-one at the club is thinking that way. Although we are in a good position of course, until it’s mathematically secure it’s as focused as ever both on and off the pitch.
Connah’s Quay Nomads take on Newtown AFC this coming weekend, and with The New Saints having no game, it’s an opportunity for Andy Morrison’s side to recapture top spot.
Although there are just a handful of matches to go, the title race is far from over. In fact, with some massive games coming up for both sides, including a grand finale at Park Hall on the final day of the season, in many ways it’s just the beginning.
Lead image: Phil Blagg.