Saturday saw the beginning of the 2019/20 season with Town travelling over the Berwyn to take on Llanrhaeadr ym Mochnant.

Colin Caton named two line-ups for both halves with eight trialists featuring during the game that welcomed Llanrhaeadr back to their home ground after a years groundshare at Llansanffraid.

The game started brightly enough in the Tanat valley sunshine and after eight minutes of play, the home side took the lead as Tom Evans headed in from close range when Bala failed to clear a corner.

This kick started the Lakesiders who started to relax and find their feet after the opener. Town had a sustained spell of pressure for quarter of an hour with Trialist C heading wide at near post from Horwood’s corner with Trialist C going close again minutes later but he scuffed his effort from around 6 yards which resulted in the chance being cleared.

Venables and Hayes were involved in a scramble in the six yard box but neither could capitalise on the effort prior to Trialist C heading wide once again from a Horwood corner.

Trialist E fired narrowly over the crossbar from 25 yards before Venables and Hayes linked up in the area but Hayes’ strike was pushed away for a corner.

With 20 minutes on the clock, Bala were back level when they took advantage of their pressure and the ball was squared into the area which Venables nestled into the net from around 3 yards out.

The lead was shortlived when Llanrhaeadr hit back to make it 2-1 when a lob from the edge of the area hit the post and bounced over the line after 25 minutes.

Goals kept coming when two minutes later, Bala brought the game back to 2-2 when Trialist C scored with a fantastic effort into the top corner from 16 yards on 27 minutes and then took the lead on 30 minutes as Trialist E delivered a ball into the area straight into the path of Venables who tapped the ball home.

Both Hayes and Venables had opportunities to add a fourth but Llanrhaeadr hacked the ball off the line and cleared their lines well before the interval.

The new Town starting eleven for the second half couldn’t have asked for a better start when they added a fourth only minutes into the second period.

Henry Jones danced into the box outrunning three players and composed himself to cooly slot the ball into the opposite corner of the net to make it 4-2.

Bala’s fourth took the game out of Llanrhaeadr’s sight with fitness also taking it’s toll and Bala taking control of proceedings.

Stephens, Burke and Smith were pulling the strings in midfield with Burns and Molyneux having plenty of space on the wings to put deep crosses into the box.

A promising start to Town’s pre-season campaign with the games now coming thick and fast with two tough tests against Southport and Accrington Stanley coming up next week.

Many thanks to Llanrhaeadr for their warm welcome – good luck for the forthcoming season.

Match photos by Naomi Jones can be seen here.

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