It was not the ideal start as Town found themselves 2-0 down after only 7 minutes played at the Stade de Muncipal.
In a scorching hot Luxembourg (36*c) at the start of play, Differdange came firing out of the blocks when Errafik ran 30 yards towards the Bala defence and slotting coolly under Morris from 10 yards out.
Town didn’t even have time to recover as they doubled their lead as Errafik disposed Will Bell to find unmarked Caron who finished well.
Bala were struggling to settle but slowly and surely they creeped back into the game.
Anthony Stephens headed into the side netting from Valentine’s delivery before Stephens scuffed his shot after great work by Connolly and Sheridan. The opponents were quick on the counter and providing constant trouble for the Town backline with Lebrense and Errafik always a threat.
But as Town started to claw back, Differdange added a 3rd when Artell lost possession on the halfway line which Sinani put the ball in off the post.
Upfront Differdange were dangerous, Franzoni the latest player to teat the defence which Bell cleared well.
Bala got a goal back on 38 minutes when a long ball from Bell dropped over the last defender for Sheridan to pounce upon, round the keeper and slot into the net to send the travelling fans into jubilation!
Town were showing a little too much respect of their opponents and not testing them enough but were also making little errors such as losing possession.
A break down the wing by Smith saw his ease past 3 players to find Connolly but he couldn’t capitalise on the chance on the halftime whistle.
At the break Pearson was replaced by Hayes and the Lakesiders started better in the second period and were more physical, quicker tempo and keeping the ball much more,
Differdange curled wide of Morris’ post but it was Town who were growing in confidence as the half progressed.
With both sets of players naturally tiring, Artell directed a header over the crossbar as Rodrigues broke down the other end but his attempt at getting a penalty was soon waved away.
Connolly nearly found Smith who was breaking into the box but the shot was overhit.
Two attempts by the home side flew comfortably over the crossbar with Morris then called into action to deny a Caron chance.
A brilliant last ditch block by Bell denied the home side of another goal.
Town were then reduced down to 10 men when Mike Hayes was given a second yellow card for allegedly diving in the penalty area with 9 minutes left to play.
Brown won a freekick in the centre circle for Valentine to deliver into the area which the keeper missed but the resulting shot went wide of the far post.
Late on, Sheridan could’ve got his brace when he passed his man to go one-on-one with the goalkeeper but put the ball wide of the target which should’ve been 3-2.
Two incredible one handed saves by Morris to deny Almeida’s goalbound effort and another chance which he managed to tip just wide of the post in late injury time drama.
A very good second half effort by the Lakesiders in excruciating heat to take a valuable away goal back with us to Wales. The players gave their all and couldn’t be faulted on their effort and determination. Lads you did us proud.
Also we´d like to say a massive thank you to all the travelling supporters who made the trip to Luxembourg – well over 75 in total. Diolch yn fawr iawn.
Next up is the return leg on July 9th at Rhyl – kickoff 7.00p.m. at Belle Vue.
Match photos courtesy of Naomi Jones