Football’s a funny game isn’t it…
Kicking off the start of the new JD Cymru Premier League season with a bang, as the Lakesiders travelled to the home of the Champions in Connah’s Quay Nomads.
A slow start to the Lakesiders saw Nomads pile on the pressure early on, however after the first quarter of an hour, Bala were controlling the play.
A crunching tackle from Sean Smith saw him pick a yellow card early on.
Raul Correia was showing his strength deep in the Nomads half while winning a set-piece in the process.
An early shout for a penalty came from Raul minutes later, as his legs are taken out by the defender, but the ref called play on.
However just minutes later, a free kick just inside the Bala half by Jonny Spittle went straight towards a crowd of players, but summer signing Nathan Peate climbed high to head the ball back and loop the keeper! A league debut goal for Nathan for the Lakesiders to put them 1-0 up!
Just what the Lakesiders needed, just under half an hour into the game. Nomads without any real threat up top with everything being defended well.
Another chance for Bala, as Leslie swings a wicked cross into the back post, where Venables heads back to Lassana, but his shot curls over.
And again, a big chance for the Lakesiders to double their lead, but Spittle’s header clips the post, comes back to him and the defender recovers to head over the bar for a corner.
Brilliant defending from Spittle at the other end minutes later, with a superb tackle to stop the Nomads shot, and concedes a corner in the process.
The Referee called for half time with Bala 1-0 up after Nathan Peate’s looping header. With Bala well on top after slowly getting into the game, endured the early pressure from Nomads, however could have had ended with one or two more goals to Bala.
The second half got underway, similar to the start of the first, with another crunching tackle from Sean Smith to stop the shot from Nomads, and clears any danger.
Will Evans this time had a penalty shout waved away by the Referee, after he’s taken out in the box.
Alex Ramsay was then called into action, as he climbed above the bodies to punch away the ball out of harms way.
After a little pressure from Nomads, Leslie drives down the pitch and wins a free kick for Bala to get them back up the pitch.
Nomads came close to an equalizer on the hour mark, with a header at the back post, but the Nomads player couldn’t direct his header anywhere to trouble Ramsay in goal.
A brilliant piece of intuition by Will Evans who reads the run of Venables, and sets a lovely back heel pass into the path of the Captain, but his shot is saved well by the Nomads keeper.
Lassana Mendes was substituted for Kieran Smith just after the hour.
Venables was set on a driving run, that clears two defenders, but his cut back in the box misses everyone, good chance for the Lakesiders.
Another chance for Bala, as Leslie’s swing into the box hits Venables, but his powerful header goes over the bar.
Venables the provider this time, as he lays the ball onto Raul, but his shot goes wide of the goal. With 10 minutes left, the Lakesiders were still pressing for another goal.
A brilliant double save by Ramsay, who comes and collects twice through the crowd of bodies, drops the ball and pounces back on the ball.
Superb driving run from Will, who wins his team a free kick to give his team mates a breather late in the game.
Ollie Shannon was still tracking back late in the game to defend a Nomads cross, as he puts the ball out for a corner.
A thumping header from a Nomads corner was saved superbly by Ramsay, as the ball hits his face and is cleared for a corner.
Into 3 minutes of additional time, Bala were holding on to a vital 3 points to start the season.
However Sameron Dool has other plans, on the 94th minute, he struck a sweet strike into the top right corner of the net. Heartbreak for the Lakesiders, who concede a late goal to drop 2 points.
The final whistle went, with a feeling of a point would of been a good result before the match, however a lead that lasted until the 94th minute was agonising for the Lakesiders, as they’ll now look to gain the 3 points in their next league game against Cefn Druids next Sunday (20th of September)
However before Cefn Druids, the Lakesiders will travel to Belgium to face Standard Liege in their Second Qualifying Round tie in the Europa League on Thursday (17th of September)