Honours even at Park Hall only for the heroics of Ramsay and a controversial penalty decision…
After just the three months away from Cymru Premier football, The Saints and Lakesiders resumed the league campaign with a stalemate, although it did have its moments…
A lively start to the game saw Bala on the front foot, with Venables trying his luck with a swiping volley on the turn, but couldn’t turn the ball towards goal.
Minutes later, Antony Kay also tried his luck with a well struck shot from outside the box, which Harrison had to get across to collect.
The returning Kieran Smith looked sharp throughout the start of the game, and almost grabbed himself an early goal with a driving run towards the TNS box, and managed to make some space for a shot on his weaker left foot, but his effort went straight into the arms of Harrison.
Alex Ramsay was called into action just a minute later, as the hosts got the ball up the pitch to Leo Smith, who takes a fierce strike towards goal, but Ramsay was there with a big hand to direct it out for a corner.
It wasn’t long until Ramsay was called into action again, with a good stop from a close range effort by Redmond, and managed to put the ball behind for a corner.
The New Saints’ record signing Adam Roscrow looked to punish a mistake from the Bala backline, but after making his way towards the Bala penalty area, he saw his shot sail over the bar.
Despite there being chances for both sides, the first half ended with no goals, and it was all to play for in the second half!
The hosts saw the majority of the ball for a good chunk of the second half, yet creating no clean cut chances.
On the hour mark, Jon Routledge was lucky not to receive a caution, or even his marching orders, after he struck Will Evans’ jaw with his elbow while battling for the ball.
Cieslewicz came close for the hosts with a long range effort, however his strike hit the top of the net.
With less than 20 minutes to go, The Lakesiders had a massive shout for a penalty, after Ryan Astles handled the ball inside the penalty area, which was waved away by the referee. A massive let off for the hosts.
Just minutes later, Bala had the best chance of the game to take the lead! The Captain Chris Venables got on the end of a well taken free kick from Pryce, but Venables’ header just creeped past the post.
Somehow, with a minute to go of normal time, Ramsay managed to react superbly to tip the ball over the bar from a Cieslewicz header, with a deflection on its way! Absolutely superb save!
Four minutes of added time was shown, and Bala had a big chance to possibly snatch a winner late into added time. Ryan Pryce made a driving run towards the penalty area and was fouled just outside.
Although the hosts were able to clear the late danger from the free kick, and then the referee whistled for full time. A fair point in the end for both sides, however a controversial penalty decision might have cost the Lakesiders two points, in a bid to close the gap on the top two…
Yellow Cards: Oliver Shannon (37), Sean Smith (55), Kieran Smith (60), Will Evans (70)