Read all about our Foundation ages trip to Caernarfon!
On a bitterly cold day, Bala Town Under 8’s made their way to Dros yr Aber Playing Fields to face Caernarfon Town in the reverse fixture as we had faced them in Maes Tegid on the 14th of October.
Caernarfon started on the front foot and immediately controlled the tempo. Bala were struggling to get used to playing on the surface, as the grass was thick rendering our passing play ineffective as the weight of pass wasn’t quite there. Caernarfon were quick on to the loose ball and started attacking the goal repeatedly.
Llion Roberts (LB) and Ioan Morris (RB) in defence were excellent in breaking up the attacks if any had broken through our rear-guard. Jac Watkin (GK) was brilliant in smothering any loose balls or shots on goal. It took a while but Bala’s midfield of Leo Burgoyne (LM), Robin Williams (CM) and Jac Jones (RM) started to gain a foothold in the game and found their rhythm, playing positively with the ball but not quite finding the finishing touch as reward. Elliot Jones started up front and was excellent once again in his work rate in utilising the high press, being the main outlet from the defence holding the ball up top to bring the midfield into play to attack down the channels.
With the strong wind behind us in the second half Bala immediately started the strongest and immediately controlled the tempo. Some excellent interplay between midfield and defence allowed us to keep the ball for long periods, and our energy and high pressing resulted with Elliot being rewarded for winning the ball and countering immediately. Caio Jones came on for Jac on the right and immediately set about to carry on where Jac left off and was excellent with his work rate.
Jac came on for Llion, Leo switching to left back, Jac went left midfield. The football on show was end to end with neither side letting up easily. Jac Watkin’s decision making throughout the game was flawless, Ioan and Leo in defence fed off the confidence of our keeper, carrying the ball from defence positively, playing neat passing football with Caio, Robin and Jac in midfield. Robin and Jac both going on mazy runs and each being rewarded for their dribbling. Elliot and Caio still providing the energy in winning the ball back at the first available opportunity and were also rewarded for their hard work.
Llion came on for Elliot and went LM, Jac went CF. The football was end to end throughout the last quarter, Llion becoming an excellent outlet for our counter attacks and was very unlucky not to have a goal to show at the end of the game.
Man of the Match: Robin Williams – carried the ball excellently throughout the game, Caernarfon struggled to win the ball off him throughout the game.
Within the beautiful scenery overlooking the castle of Caernarfon the fixture between Bala U9’s and Caernarfon U9’s took place this morning. It was an opportunity for us to play on a larger grass pitch than usual – that sets its own challenges for us. Unfortunately, for this fixture we were short on numbers, therefore did not have the possibility to rotate the team as we would of liked.
The 1st quarter
We showed the same style of play of our recent games, with excellent play off the ball to prevent Caernarfon finding any sort of rhythm to their play. Caernarfon were very comfortable to play the ball around the large pitch; this was giving our players challenges that they have not faced before, with the need to work extremely hard to keep compact when the press was unsuccessful. With huge credit there was no goals scored within the first quarter.
The fatigue in the players began to show within this quarter. Caernarfon rotated their squad, this caused problems for our players. As a result we conceded some goals. We put in incisive counter attacks, with one particular attack that deserves credit, in which, we started from a goal kick and put a quick succession of 5/6 passes then finishing with a shot on goal. It was a brilliant move that showed the potential within our team to put passes together and move the ball from defence to attack.
Caernarfon had majority of the ball, playing through the press and comfortable to retain ball possession when the counter attack wasnt on, causing us no time to rest. It allowed Caernarfon to score goals. However, using the versitility in the players positional awareness, we rotated the players positions, this was to great success, as we were able to develop counter attacks and this resulted in us getting a goal.
Bala and Caernarfon kept to their style of play. However, as both teams were tiring as a result of playing on a large pitch; therefore, the match had become slower and more competitive.
A picturesque setting for our game v Caernarfon with a view over a blustery Menai straight. First quarter we were slow out of the blocks very poor with the ball, we couldn’t get our passing game going and were lucky that Rhys was on top of his game producing a unbelievable save and being on his toes to clear any danger from a ball over the top. Caernarfon deservingly took the lead from a corner after we failed to clear lines. Iolo was the only positive as he was having plenty of the ball and when he could get forward we looked dangerous.
2nd – we started better again poor with the ball but we were starting to get a foothold in the game started creating chance, again our lack of composure in the final third wasn’t helping us get a goal back.
3rd – we changed formation as the front three were very static and we couldn’t switch the ball as quickly as we have been doing. Deio came in in the middle of midfield and produced a great performance which changed the balance of the game by simply winning the ball and moving it forward quickly. We now started creating decent chances and passing much better Llŷr holding the ball up well and linking up well with Ffranc and Dafydd. After a period of pressure where we tested their keeper numerous times Dafydd scored a bullet header from a corner that got us level.
4th – a throughly entertaining quarter with both teams pushing for the winner, Bala just shading it we had some really good chances that we should have tested their keeper but failed to hit the target. Ffranc having an effort saved after bring sent clear by Dafydd. Ffranc then became the supplier with a defence splitting pass to Llŷr but their keeper came out and just got a touch to it. Both teams deserved a draw especially after our poor start, but we finished strongly.
Man of the match: Deio.