Going will be tough for The New Saints
THE New Saints are ready to "pitch in" as they look to stretch their lead at the top of the JD Welsh Premier in tonight's (friday) trip to struggling Prestatyn Town (7.45).
The Saints are now nine points clear after their rainswept 3-0 win at Bala Town in midweek - which was the perfect riposte after suffering a 4-2 home loss to Newtown a few days before.
Next up for the league leaders is a trip to lowly Prestatyn who have lost their last six league outings to slip into the relegation places.
Having also thrashed the Seasiders 6-1 at Park Hall earlier in the season, the Saints will be in confident mood as they attempt to extend their lead in the penultimate game before the league split.
But they will be wary of a Prestatyn side who, fighting for league survival, could prove a handful in the notoriously heavy conditions at their Bastion Gardens ground.
"It's a tough place to go, and we hope the weather picks up a bit as their pitch is not great," said manager Scott Ruscoe.
"They almost got a draw at Bala last week, and will be well drilled and well organised, so we'll have to dig in and mix it up a bit. Every game's a different challenge.
"If someone had said we would be nine points clear after 20 games, I would have snapped their hand off, but we now need to push on."
TNS will head to the north Wales coast in good heart after Tuesday night's 3-0 victory over in-form Bala Town courtesy of second half strikes from Chris Marriott, Ryan Brobbel and sub Wes Fletcher, who was making a return following a groin injury.
Torrential rain and wind made the going tough, particularly in the first half, and Ruscoe was delighted with his side's display.
"The conditions were horrendous, some of the worst I've known, but we dominated from start to finish, and played some good football," he said.
"After losing to Newtown a few days before, it was the perfect response. We were stronger and fitter, and credit to the lads for their determination to earn the three points."
With the transfer window having been lifted, Ruscoe is pondering whether to strengthen his squad, and currently has a couple of trialists training at Park Hall.
*It's a big day for TNS Ladies who head to Newcastle United Ladies in the third round proper of the FA Womens FA Cup on Sunday.
Defenders Ryan Leak and Callum Roberts have returned to their respective clubs Wolves and Shrewsbury following their loan spells with TNS.