Playoff Final spot booked for the Lakesiders!
The Lakesiders booked their playoff final spot on Friday evening after an action packed win against Newtown.
Town started very brightly at Latham Park seeing plenty of the ball in the early stages, moving it quickly around the pitch.
Bala’s first real chance fell on seven minutes when they won a corner which Miley fired wide from close range at near post.
Pressure was being applied by the Lakesiders but Newtown were clearing their lines well and dealing with Bala’s attacking play. Town were looking dangerous on the attack with Gosset in the middle having a terrific game in his first game back after a loan spell at Cefn Druids.
Roberts picked out Rushton with 15 minutes on the clock but the goal was disallowed for the hosts due to Rushton being offside.
Hayes saw his shot saved by Jones prior to Kieran Smith’s 25 yard low drive zipping inches wide of the upright as the game opened up.
Down in the Town net, Keighan Jones made a superb save on 28 minutes to keep Rushton’s effort out before Bala went on the counter attack with Henry Jones striking the ball over the crossbar from around 10 yards out.
Jones was called into action once more with an excellent low reaction save with his feet to keep our another Rushton opportunity.
Five minutes before the break, Bala took the lead. Burns’ teasing ball into the area was headed on by Venables into the path of Smith who flicked the ball into the net and leading at the interval.
Early on in the second period, Town could easily have been further ahead after only minutes of the half when Mike Hayes shook off his marker and curled over the bar and then Venables attempting to lob the goalkeeper from 30 yards but the ball going over the woodwork.
With 53 minutes play, Bala doubled their tally. An attack down the left saw Sean Smith deliver a cracking ball into the area picking out Henry Jones who headed in Town’s second of the evening from seven yards.
However, Newtown came back into things and started to build up spells of pressure and forcing the Town backline to be at their best with Alex Fletcher curling around the post from the edge of the box in Newtown’s best chance.
Dave Jones was in action saving Henry Jones’ powerful effort after a counter attack with Smith then firing wide of the target from distance minutes later. Venables also saw his stunning volley from 20 yards pushed around the post as Town chased a third.
Newtown had the ball in the net on 81 minutes but yet again it was disallowed as Rushton’s powerful strike was deflected in off Ahmadi.
Two minutes from time, Newtown got their goal when Kenton drove the ball in low from 15 yards after the ball was flicked on by Mitchell.
The nerves were jangling as Newtown threw everything at the Lakesiders during injury time but with Town putting their bodies on the line, they stood firm, riding out the pressure and booking themselves a spot in the Playoff Final.
A fantastic performance by every single Town player who thoroughly deserved their victory. So onwards to the Final on May 19th, the only question remains….. against who?