A hard fought victory for The Lakesiders away in mid-week!
Following Saturday’s win at Latham Park (17th of October) The Lakesiders would travel to the Essity Stadium on Tuesday night (20th of October) to face promoted side Flint Town, who have struggled so far since promotion to the Cymru Premier.
Alex Ramsay was the only change from the game against Newtown, who replaced John Rushton following his excellent display on his debut, by managing to keep a clean sheet. Ryan Pryce would again make the bench following his deadline day signing for the club.
Therefore, we got underway at the Essity Stadium, and within seconds Bala had the first opportunity, however Venables’ effort was weak with his left foot, as the ball trickled to the keeper.
The first caution of the match came just two minutes into the game, as Flint’s Richard Foulkes would take out Jonny Spittle to go into the referee’s book.
On five minutes, Mendes should have put The Lakesiders ahead, after Leslie’s cross into the box reached Mendes at the back post, but couldn’t get hold of the bouncing ball and mishit the ball over the bar.
Flint had their first real attacking opportunity of the game on 11 minutes, as a free kick was given away on the left hand side, which resulted in a corner to the home side. From the corner, the ball was put into a dangerous area, but Ramsay was there to punch away.
Flint’s Kai Edwards was next in the referee’s book for dissent.
A few more attacking opportunities came for Flint, however the Bala defence stood strong and cleared any danger.
However just before the half hour mark, Flint took their best chance of the game, and took the lead. A scramble in the box led to Alex Jones receiving the ball a few yards from the goal line, Alex swivled and hit the ball into the roof of the net to make it 1-0, slightly unlucky for the Lakesiders to go behind, but a poor goal to concede.
Nathan Peate was the first Bala player into the referee’s book for a foul.
Will Evans then had a chance to draw level, but his half volley was dragged wide of the post.
It didn’t take long for The Lakesiders to respond… The Captain again, Chris Venables drawing level just before 40 minutes on the clock, after a ball in from Will Evans landed at the back post where Venables headed towards goal, the keeper got a hand to it to look like he’d kept it out, yet the linesman who had a good view deemed the ball to cross the line! 1-1 just before the break.
Minutes before half time, Rob Hughes was booked for Flint after what seemed like violent conduct on Antony Kay… to the confusion of the Bala players and officials, as they believed a red card should of been shown.
Into the three added on minutes of the half, Will Evans could of given Bala the lead going into the break, yet his header from Leslie’s cross just went over the bar, to the relief of the Flint keeper.
The half time whistle went, with Chris Venables’ goal getting the Town back on level terms with a bit of controversy, however the score stood at 1-1 with the second half still all to play for!
Minutes after the second half got underway, Bala were awarded a free kick right on the edge of the box after a foul on Mendes.
Steve Leslie stepped up to take the free kick… and put Bala in the lead! A cooly taken free kick from Leslie, as he curled it round the wall into the bottom corner, with no movement from the keeper to keep the shot out. A great way to start the second half, 2-1 to the Lakesiders!
Steve Leslie then went into the referee’s book for a foul.
Mendes almost extended the Bala lead, after a brilliant driving run into the box, having passed two players, he got his shot away, but dragged his effort wide of the post.
Will then had a go himself, this time from the left hand side, on his favoured foot, but his effort clipped the side netting.
Minutes later, even Ramsay tried his luck! From outside his own box having rushed out to clear the ball, he saw his opposite number off his line and tried his luck, however the Flint keeper got back to prevent the wonder goal.
Antony Kay was next in the book for a foul.
Another yellow card shown, this time to Flint’s Alex Jones for dissent.
Flint applied some pressure on the Bala backline in the last 20 minutes, having made some space for themselfs on the edge of the area, a shot on goal was sliced wide and gave Bala a throw in.
The first substitution for the Lakesiders saw the second half goal scorer Steve Leslie replaced by Henry Jones.
A bit of defending for Bala to do, as Rob Hughes took a strike on goal for Flint, but Antony Kay rushed out to block the shot.
With 10 minutes to go, Bala should of put the game to bed. A brilliant cross in from Ollie Shannon went right infront of the keeper, Henry Jones met the ball but somehow put the ball wide of the goal. Should of made the score 3-1 with 10 minutes to play.
Ollie Shannon then went into the referee’s book for a foul as Flint attempted the counter attack.
Former Bala forward Les Davies came on for the last eight minutes of the match, replacing Joe Palmer.
Raul Correia got the Lakesiders up the pitch, and managing to win a corner after a driving run towards the byline.
Henry Jones took a free kick from the right hand side, and put a good ball in, across the face of the keeper, but no Bala player were able to poke the ball home.
With a minute of normal time to go, Flint should of levelled the game, after a scramble in the box from a long throw in, the ball ricocheted off a couple players close to the goal line, and luckily for Bala, the ball was cleared far away from danger.
As the fourth official held up four minutes of added time, Bala would make their second substitution, as Raul Correia made way for Anthony Stephens.
The Lakesiders held onto the ball in the Flint half, and saw the game out to seal the three points.
The referee would then whistle for full time, as the Lakesiders picked up all three points in a hard fought game, which would push the Town into 3rd place in the league standings. However a new lockdown announced in Wales, the schedule for the Cymru Premier changed, which would allow the Lakesiders to play their game in hand over most of the clubs, while also being able to replay the abandoned game against The New Saints at Maes Tegid.
Therefore, a break of 11 days for the Lakesiders until the 31st of October, as they now wait until the trip down to Haverfordwest in a live broadcasted game on Sgorio through S4C.