ANDY MORRISON conceded that Connah's Quay Nomads 'came up short' as The New Saints landed a significant blow in the Welsh Premier League title race.

Aeron Edwards and Ryan Brobbel clinically finished off two well-worked attacking moves as Saints jumped above Nomads, who finished with 10-men after Michael Wilde's straight red, and to the top of the table, with a game in-hand.

Nomads boss Morrison was as honest as ever in his appraisal of the 90 minutes.

He said: I'm disappointed, but I've never dealt with defeat very well.

"In the key moments of the game TNS were better than us, it's as simple as that.

"When you think about quality, guile and disguise in certain areas they were better than us and we came up short.

"We asked questions of them and they dealt with them well as nothing fell for us.

"We got in down the right-hand side three times and hit the first man, there was no end product, they get in once and they scored the second goal, which put the game to bed.

"You live and die by your finishing and we didn't have the quality.

"We've come up short. TNS are ahead of us. They were well-ahead of us, but they are still ahead of us.

"Respect must go to them. Well done to them for coming here in a big game and finding a way to win."

Nomads could have folded several times after falling behind early on, conceding a second when on top and then losing Wilde, but they battled on valiantly.

Morrison continued: "We are never going to roll over.

"I said that after the game to the players that it's really important they stick together, they are strong and they don't take the easy option.

"I'm not downhearted at all. I'm so proud of the players and how far they've come and the character they showed.

"There were a lot of boys hurting in the changing room afterwards, but I said to them 'get your heads up and be positive' because we've climbed so many mountains this year.

"We've come up short, it's as simple as that.

"It was a step too far."

Nomads striker Wilde, who is set to miss three games at a crucial stage of the domestic season, sought out Saints' midfielder Jon Routledge to apologise for his overzealous challenge that saw him shown a straight red card.

"It happened quite quickly," explained Wilde. "I've gone in probably a little bit late, he was quicker than me and got to the ball first as I was on the way down and I've caught his ankle.

"There was no malice from my point of view.

"Red cards happen all of the times and it wasn't a reckless challenge, probably just mistimed."

On the contest as a whole, Wilde added: "We're frustrated because it was a good opportunity, especially being at home.

"We always fancy our chances - we always do - so it's disappointing."

Saints boss Scott Ruscoe, meanwhile, saluted a "fantastic" performance from his reigning champions.

"I said to the boys that if they won they would go top with a game in-hand as well," said Ruscoe. "We haven't been top many times during the season, so it's a good feeling and where we want to be.

"I thought we were fantastic in the way we played, defended and broke forward.

"I can't remember them having too many chances, whereas we had three or four and were clinical."