Point on the board for the Lakesiders but could it have been three?

The Lakesiders stay top of the JD Cymru Premier after Monday’s hard fought draw against Barry Town United.

In the basking Jenner Park heat, we had a bright start to the game but no significant chances in the opening ten minutes for either side.

Chris Venables picked out Louis Robles who was running into the box but the ball ran away from him before two excellent chances for both sides when Venables’ header was saved by Radcliffe who quickly released Barry into a counter attack which saw Nathan Burke hack the ball off the line.

Town goalkeeper Josh Tibbetts took a heavy knock to the shoulder on 20 minutes which saw him continue until halftime until he was replaced by Ashley Morris.

An attack started by Mendes fed Robles but the goalkeeper saved his chance before Venables’ header was flicked on to Robles who released Molyneux but his low shot was inches wide of the near post midway through the half.

Barry were looking dangerous on the attack themselves with McLaggon and Fahiya causing problems for the Town back four.

A halfway line wonderstrike by Mendes flew narrowly wide of the post as he spotted the goalkeeper off his goalline but it wasn’t the Lakesiders who went ahead first.

Two minutes before the interval, Barry capitalised on a messy Town clearance with Fahiya lobbing Tibbetts from the edge of the box with Burns tracking back but just missing the ball to clear off the line.

With six minutes of injury time added, Town were awarded a freekick but Molyneux’s top corner bound strike was pushed out by Radcliffe.

Town started the second half very well with Molyneux also being found by Robles’ cross, a freekick by Leslie saved by the keeper and then a Bala corner taken by Burke narrowly missing Venables incoming header.

On the 53rd minute, Town were on level terms when Sean Smith made a run down the left wing and perfectly set up the unmarked Lassana Mendes who cooly slotted into the net.

The game was opening up with the tired legs from both teams becoming a factor with opportunities for the home side and visitors.

Morris made a cracking strong save to keep out a Barry freekick on the hour before down the other end, Smith crossed the ball to Henry Jones but he blazed over the crossbar followed by Robles’ 25 yard strike being saved.

With 67 minutes on the clock, Barry were back ahead when Morris made a superb body length save to his right but the rebound was smashed in at close range by Kayne McLaggon.

They almost added a third after the restart but Sean Smith made a match changing goal line clearance to deny McLaggon.

From the clearance, Bala seemed to grow in confidence with Henry Jones and Kieran Smith’s fresh legs helping Town as they broke forward.

Robles’ delivery was headed inches wide by Jones but quarter of an hour to go, Bala dug deep and showed tremendous character to get back on level terms.

A bullet header from 12 yards by centre half Stuart Jones found the back of the net making it 2-2 with Bala now with their tails up and looking for the winner.

Town had two wonderful chances in the final minutes to snatch the win when Kieran Smith headed over the crossbar after a peach of a cross into the area before in added time, a freekick in a dangerous area by Town was volleyed over the bar by Smith.

The lads might be disappointed not to have earned all three points but they must be applauded for their excellent workrate and character to come from behind twice in draining heat. It’s been a superb Bank Holiday for the Lakesiders who currently sit top of the table after picking up seven points in their first three games.

Bala return to Maes Tegid on Friday night as we host Connah’s Quay at 7.45p.m.

Match photos courtesy of Naomi Fflur can be seen here.

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Hannah

Club Media Officer, Webmaster & Programme Editor