Will Evans nets two in a solid performance from the Lakesiders!
The Lakesiders returned to action after a 13 day break following COVID-19 issues, meaning the previous fixture away to Aberystwyth Town was postponed. Therefore the Lakesiders would return to Maes Tegid on Friday night to face off against Newtown AFC, who the Town beat 2-0 in mid October at Latham Park.
Only two changes were made to the side that faced Penybont in the previous fixture, as Antony Kay returned from suspension and Lassana Mendes also made the starting eleven, as Liam Davies and Steve Leslie dropped to the bench. There was, however, a new but an old face on the bench, as new signing Gary Roberts started on the bench, after returning to the Lakesiders after 16 years away playing in the Football League!
The match got underway at a freezing cold Maes Tegid, with Bala earning an early free kick, although it came to nothing.
Despite the fast start to the game, no clear cut chances were being made, and there was little to comment on until the 17th minute, as Henry Jones did well down the right hand side, and was able to cut the ball back to Ollie Shannon inside the box, yet his shot was deflected and the visitors were able to clear.
The visitors started the game brightly with some great passing play in the midfield, however the final pass was lacking, and Bala were able to retain the ball.
Newtown were putting some pressure on the Bala backline, although no major threat to Alex Ramsay in goal just yet.
After just half an hour played… Bala made the breakthrough! Brilliant work down the right from Lassana Mendes, who beats his man, lays the ball into Will Evans inside the box, as Will cooly places the ball into the bottom left corner, and made it 1-0 to the Lakesiders!
Just what the game needed following the fast start to the game, and just minutes later, Will went on the hunt for another goal, although this time the visiting defence stood strong and cleared the ball in from Will.
Ollie Shannon then won a corner for the Town after some good work in the oppositions third, with just 5 minutes to play of the half.
Following the corner, Antony Kay came close to doubling the Lakesiders’ lead, however his half volley from about 20 yards out went just wide of the post.
With just seconds to go of the first half, Will Evans hit home to double his tally for the match, and double the Lakesiders’ lead! Again, Lassana Mendes gave the ball into the feet of Will, who turned and hit a sweet shot past the keeper from just outside the box. A brilliant ending to the half, as the Lakesiders went in with a 2-0 lead!
The whistle went to signal the end of the half, with Will proving yet again, what a signing he’s been for the club, as he now sits on 9 goals for the season! A solid team performance throughout the first half, with a full half to go!
The second half got underway, with some more good play down the right hand side from the Lakesiders, however Ollie Shannon couldn’t direct his cross towards the danger area, as the ball went out for a goal kick.
Henry Jones had an audacious effort on goal, as he looked to beat the keeper from range, but his half volley sailed out for a goal kick.
Newtown made their first change after 20 minutes of the second half, as Jack Kelly replaced Jordan Evans.
Bala were pressing for a third, yet couldn’t make any clear cut chances despite all the possession in the final third.
Will Evans then added a yellow card to his game, as he kicked the ball away and received the caution.
A double change for Newtown with just 15 minutes left of the game, as Tyrone Ofori and Matthew Williams replaced James Davies and Neil Mitchell.
Newtown still showed good attacking play late in the game, but a cross into the box sailed over the bar and out for a goal kick.
With 10 minutes left of the game, Gary Roberts would make his second debut for the club, as he replaced Henry Jones.
Within seconds of coming on, Roberts was straight into the action, as he received the ball on the right hand side of the box and attempted to curl the ball into the far corner, but his effort was saved by the keeper.
Lassana Mendes would then come off for Steve Leslie with 5 minutes to go.
Leslie almost grabbed an assist within seconds of being on, but his ball towards Venables was caught by the onrushing keeper.
Newtown would then grab a goal back with seconds of normal time to go, as Matthew Williams hit home from a cutback from the byline to make it 2-1 to the Lakesiders.
Three minutes of added time was announced by the fourth official.
Despite some late pressure from the visitors… Steve Leslie sealed the win! Venables broke away from the visiting pack, as he lead a 3 on 2 attack, as he got to the edge of the box, he layed in Steve Leslie who hit a low strike on his right foot, into the bottom corner! 3-1 to the Lakesiders with just seconds remaining.
And there went the whistle, as the referee signalled for fulltime! A solid performance from the Lakesiders who kept up the chase with the league leaders The New Saints, and Connah’s Quay Nomads in second place. Two brilliant goals from Will Evans and a late strike from the substitute Steve Leslie wrapped up all three points.
All eyes will now be on the Gwynedd Derby, as the Lakesiders travel to Caernarfon Town on Tuesday night (1/12/2020) with a 7:45pm kick off.