Well what was the POINT in that!
Following the abandonment of the previous fixture between the two sides, it was all to play for again between the top two sides! With TNS creating a five point gap over the Lakesiders, it would be a very important game early on in the race for the league title.
Four changes were made to the squad that started against Haverfordwest last weekend, as Alex Ramsay returned to the side, along with Henry Jones making just his second start of the campaign. Ryan Pryce and Liam Davies made their first start for the club since signing in the Summer transfer window. Lassana Mendes, Raul Correia and John Rushton dropped to the bench, with Steve Leslie dropping out of the squad completely.
The match got underway under the lights of Maes Tegid, with a fast start to the game, with the Lakesiders putting some early pressure on the TNS defence, keeping a fast tempo to the game.
Will Evans almost created the first goal on the 5th minute, as a powerful half volley across the box looked to meet Venables, but the Captain couldn’t reach the ball in time.
Venables came close minutes later, as a corner came into the front post, but his flick towards goal went wide of the post.
Ollie Shannon then came close on 10 minutes, as a mistake from the TNS defence gave Ollie some space to take a shot on, but his shot was saved by Harrison in goal.
Minutes later TNS had the ball in the Bala box, with many attempts to get a shot away from Leo Smith, the Lakesiders were able to clear the danger, and win a goal kick in the process.
Will had a shot on goal that was saved easily by Harrison, although keeping the TNS keeper on his toes.
Ollie Shannon then came close again, this time hitting the ball from a tight angle from the right hand side, but his shot cannoned off the post.
Another attack from the Lakesiders, this time a break away from Ollie Shannon, who had Will and Venables either side of him, he chose the to put in Will, but his shot was punched away by Harrison. A very good start to the game from the Lakesiders, who had plenty of chances to grab the lead, but no breakthrough was made.
Antony Kay picked up the first yellow of the game, following a heavy tackle on Leo Smith.
Brilliant play from Henry Jones just 10 minutes from the break, as he won a loose ball and drove towards the byline and managed to win a corner for the Lakesiders. However the corner came to nothing.
TNS had strong shouts for a penalty just minutes later, but replays showed former Bala player, Louis Robles and gone over on his own accord.
Antony Kay came close to breaking the deadlock with 5 minutes left of the first half, but his half volley curled away from goal and over the bar.
That was the last action of the half as the referee blew the whistle to signal the end of the half. Despite no goals, it was an enthralling half with chances for both sides, however there was no breakthrough, and was all to play for in the second half!
The second half got underway, with an early scare for the Lakesiders, as Cieslewicz took a shot from the edge of the area, and rattled the crossbar with his effort.
A poor pass out from Harrison in goal for TNS, almost gave Venables the chance to take the lead, although Venables’ shot on goal was weak and Harrison was able to recover.
Will Evans then looked to cross into the box from the left hand side, but his intended cross almost caught Harrison out, as Will’s ball came off the crossbar and back out to be cleared by the TNS defence.
Having played just shy of 10 minutes of the second half, Antony Kay almost took advantage of a Harrison mistake, as the keeper cleared the ball from his area, right to the feet of Kay, who hits the ball on the half volley, but Harrison again recovers to catch the dipping ball.
Alex Ramsay was called into action minutes later, as Robles had a strike on goal, but the Lakesider’s number 1 saved well and got down to his left to push the ball away.
Leo Smith then tested Ramsay with a strike on his left foot, but it was an easy save for Ramsay to make.
On 64 minutes, a double change for Bala as Jonny Spittle and Lassana Mendes came on for Ryan Pryce and Liam Davies, having both made their first starts for the club.
A succession of corners for the Lakesiders, however nothing came of either set piece.
A game that looked to provide multiple goals, had to wait until the 70th minute for the first! Unfortunately it was the visitors who took the lead, as Ben Clark who had just come on, took his first two touches and converted them into a goal, as a long pass from Ryan Astles went over the Bala defence, into the path of Clark who chipped Ramsay in goal. A disappoining goal to concede, but plenty of time to get back into the game…
And it didn’t take long for the Lakesiders to get back into the game! The substitute Lassana Mendes beat his man on the right hand side and saw Chris Venables lurking at the back post, Mendes then put a lovely ball towards Venables, who leaped higher than Simon Spender and headed past Harrison in goal! 1-1 with plenty of time for another goal!
Both sides kept pushing for a winner, as Cieslewicz tried to test Ramsay in goal, but his shot was easily saved.
Anthony Stephens almost captured all the headlines with 4 minutes to go, as the TNS defence cleared a corner, Stephens raced onto the ball and hit a powerful strike towards the top corner, although his effort clipped the top of the net and went out for a goal kick. What a goal it would have been!
With 88 minutes on the clock, the floodlights had survived longer than last time, it was just a matter of seeing the final few minutes out, again!
There were 3 minutes added on at the end of the game, however Bala looked to possibly see the game out as Raul Correia would come on for Henry Jones.
Then, the final whistle went, with everyone most likely pondering, what was the point in replaying the game, just to get the same outcome! Although, what a game to watch, with both sides fighting to the very end, however a share of the spoils, as the 5 point gap remains between the Lakesiders and TNS. The Lakesiders will now prepare to go up against Penybont at Maes Tegid next Saturday (14th of November) to hopefully keep chasing the league leaders!