Tale of two halves at Maes Tegid!
It was two very different 45 minute performances by the Lakesiders on Wednesday evening as they welcomed Crewe’s U23 side to Maes Tegid.
Our visitors started brightly and were causing problems early on – Regan Griffiths struck his chance over the crossbar following a decent ball from the right hand side.
A 20 yard strike from Glenn Rule after 13 minutes on the clock fizzled past the post in Town’s first clear cut chance before our visitors opened the scoring.
In came a good cross into the box which Griffiths curled his boot around to blast the ball into the net from close range after 16 minutes of play.
Town were settling and should’ve been awarded a penalty after 22 minutes when a Crewe defender handled the ball in the box but was waved away by the referee.
Bell headed wide from Anthony Stephens’ freekick from 18 yards out before Evans and Venables combined but saw their move break down in the area.
Crewe broke on the counter attack and doubled their lead on 32 minutes. Town failed to clear an attack for the ball to arrive to Owen Dale who’s shot hit the post then nestled into the net.
Davies picked out Evans but his low strike was saved by goalkeeper Richards.
Slightly against the run of play, Town halved the defecit 5 minutes before the interval when a cross by Stephens arrived to Davies who was able to turn the ball into the net to make it 1-2.
Down the other end Morris made a sublime full body length save to palm out a goalbound Crewe chance out of play just before the interval.
A trio of subs saw Burke, Sheridan and Stuart Jones replace Rule, Hayes and Bell at halftime following a stern halftime teamtalk by the Town management.
Whatever was said at halftime must’ve worked as Bala’s second half performance was much improved with more hunger and desire shown by the players and more questions asked of the Crewe side.
Nathan Burke fired over from 25 yards, Venables and Evans teamed up in the box with the latter forcing a save out of Richards prior to a brilliant Stephens delivery pushed away by the shotstopper and Davies’ follow up going narrowly wide of the far post.
A ball from Ian Sheridan into the area flashed across the face of the goal but went begging as no Town shirts were quick enough to meet the teasing ball before Richards made a superb last ditch save to claw Venables’ goalbound header around the post.
30 seconds later however, the game was level when Burke’s corner was delivered deep, headed back into play by Stuart Jones and Venables’ bullet header from close range made it 2-2 with half an hour left to play.
Evans delivered a defence breaking ball into the path of Sheridan who turned it into the path of Venables but broke down on the edge of the 6 yard box.
Town were playing with confidence and saw them take the lead for the first time in the game on 76 minutes. Wade’s ball into the box was backpost bound towards Sheridan but Woodcock under pressure turned the ball into his own net – 3-2!
From the restart, the Crewe defence almost scored another own goal when Thompson’s brilliant ball with the outside of his boot released Stephens on the wing, his first time ball almost cleared into their own net!
In the closing stages, David Cooke came on to make his first team debut from the Under 19’s squad and did well down the left hand side.
As injury time came to an end, Wade almost added a 4th when his powerful drive was needed to be palmed out for a corner kick by Richards who had a very impressive game in the Crewe net.
Another useful workout against a youthful Alex side – good luck to Dave, Kenny and the squad for the new season, thanks to all at Crewe for coming down this evening.
One game to go! Next up – Guilsfield!
Match photos by Naomi Jones