CONNAH’S QUAY NOMADS proved they are in the title race for the long haul by roaring to the top of the table.

Nomads brushed aside the challenge of Huw Griffiths’ Caernarfon 4-0, while The New Saints were being held 1-1 at third placed Bala Town.

Victory means Nomads have made it six points from six since the second phase started to climb to the summit, stark contrast to Saints’ solitary one.

“It was a really good win,” said Nomads’ director of football Jay Catton. “We know what Caernarfon are all about, they are in the top six for a reason, and it’s their second year in it.

“We knew the challenge it would be because we watched their game against Bala in detail and the gaffer went down to watch.

“We knew all their strengths, where we could exploit their weaknesses and it’s a great performance from us and another solid result.”

Captain George Horan set the ball rolling for Nomads, the experienced defender heading the opener inside two minutes before lashing home a half-volley midway through the first period.

“Brilliant,” said Catton of Horan’s two-goal showing. “His second goal is an unbelievable finish. His header was fantastic as well.

“To be fair to George, he will admit that he should have scored more goals this season with the chances we’ve created.

“But he deserved his goals and we all know George is a leader and what he’s given to the club over the years.”

Craig Curran struck his first goal for Nomads since signing last month, before Michael Bakare stepped off the bench to complete a comfortable night’s work.

Catton was delighted for former Chester striker Curran, who produced an impressive all-round performance.

“He’s come in and we’ve seen his qualities in training have been top notch and you could see what he is going to bring to the group,” said Catton. “His hold-up play...when you know a ball is going up to a forward player and you are going to retain possession and play off him, it’s pivotal.

“Having the quality he’s got, alongside Jamie Insall and Michael Wilde gives us great threat going forward.

“Craig has been a joy since he’s come in, he’s produced two solid performances and he’s off the mark.”

At the other end, Lewis Brass kept a ninth clean sheet in the league this season.

The Nomads’ number one also revealed the shutout came at the end of an eventful week.

Brass tweeted: “Another solid performance from the boys tonight, nice little 4-0 win and back top of the league! Another clean sheet not too bad for being in a car crash 24 hours ago.”

Stopper Brass will be keen to reach double figures next week as table-topping Nomads entertain the second placed Saints.

“We are looking forward to it,” said Catton of Friday’s encounter. “It’s going to be a great game for us and for the league but ultimately it means little at this stage.”

Scott Ruscoe cut a frustrated figure as The New Saints were held to a 1-1 draw at Bala Town.
Aeron Edwards gave Bala an early lead as he headed into his own net, but Ryan Brobbel earned Saints a point from the penalty spot just before the hour mark.
Saints’ boss Ruscoe was wondering how his side failed to turn their dominance of proceedings into all three points.
“We did that well we even scored for them,” said former Chester City midfielder Ruscoe.
“We were totally the better side, we dominated and they didn’t have anything for us.
“It was men against boys, total domination and you can tell I’m a bit disappointed and frustrated.
“They wanted to take two minutes every time the ball went out and we just want to play football.
“It was total domination and we were far superior in every department.”
Ruscoe handed Tom Holland a start at Maes Tegid, the midfielder returning to The New Saints after a spell with Waterford late last week.
“It wasn’t a great start,” said Holland of going a goal down inside six minutes.
“They only had two shots on target, so we didn’t really let that goal affect us and we were really unfortunate not to win.
“I thought once we got one a second would come, maybe even three or four. We didn’t have lots of chances, but we had chances to win.”
Bala defender Ollie Shannon, making his first start for the club, was pleased with a point, but felt the Lakesiders were thrown by taking an early lead.
The 24-year-old said: “Getting the early goal threw us out of our rhythm, we were hanging on a bit too soon, but obviously you are going to take a goal however it comes.
“We were happy at half-time, we were working hard, but we wanted to keep hold of the ball a bit better.”
Shannon was penalised for Saints’ penalty, the former Everton youngster unable to get his arm out of the way of Chris Marriot’s cross.
“It probably was a penalty, so we will take a point,” conceded Shannon.