Ten man Lakesiders grab all three points in stellar second half performance!
The Lakesiders returned to action this weekend (Saturday 13th March) with a trip to The Rock to face Cefn Druids. The Ancients came into the game under temporary management, as Jayson Starkey took charge of team affairs. On the other half, Bala came into the game having battled out a stalemate at Park Hall against The New Saints last weekend, and holding on to an unbeaten away record so far this league campaign.
We got underway at The Rock, with the hosts threatening early on the attack, and it didn’t take long until those threats paid off, as the hosts took the lead after just seven minutes through a strike from Former Bala player Stef Edwards, a low driven strike on his left foot that went across Ramsay and into the bottom right hand corner. A poor start from The Lakesiders, with Druids looking the better side.
An early yellow card was shown to Kieran Smith after 10 minutes, and after a few more fouls, Manager Colin Caton decided not to risk the possbility of going down to ten men and substituted Smith for Steve Leslie.
After 20 minutes gone, Bala slowly got into the game, despite the threat posed by Druids on the attack.
However, it didn’t take The Lakesiders long to level! Ollie Shannon managed to prod the ball home from close range, after Venables’ first time volley was blocked by a wall of Druids defenders, the ball dropped to Ollie who couldn’t miss!
Raul Correia came close to putting The Town ahead just minutes after the equaliser, as he latched onto a perfect ball by Leslie, but Raul dragged his effort wide of the post.
Bala piled on the pressure late in the half with two strikes on goal in quick succession, as Antony Kay had his strike blocked off the line, as did Ollie Shannon’s strike, and Druids were able to clear.
The half time whistle came, and possibly to the relief of the hosts, as The Lakesiders could have gone into the lead late in the half, if it wasn’t for the resilient defence of Druids.
We got underway for the second half, and all of a sudden… Bala were ahead! Just minutes after the restart, Ollie Shannon pounced on the ball from close range and poked home to grab his second of the game! Just the start we needed to the second half!
Antony Kay and Ryan Pryce linked up well down the right hand side for a good chunk of the second half, with Pryce darting down the right hand side to put some brilliant balls into the box for the Bala forwards to attack.
With 20 minutes to go, Bala were awarded a penalty! Raul Correia’s driving run into the box was halted as he was brought down by a Druids defender inside the box, and referee Iwan Arwel pointed to the spot!
Chris Venables stepped up to take the spot kick, and cool as ever slotted it into the bottom right corner of the goal to gain a two goal advantage over the hosts.
The hosts appealed for a penalty after Nathan Peate put a challenge in inside the box, however the referee deemed it a clean tackle.
With just 10 minutes to go, Bala were reduced to ten men… Steve Leslie was involved in an altercation with Ryan Kershaw leading to Leslie being given his marching orders for violent conduct, yet Kershaw was given a yellow card for his involvement.
Five minutes from time, Danny Gosset was handed his first competitive appearance in nearly two years, after recovering from non-hodgkins lymphoma, a massive moment for Danny, The Club and Welsh Football as a whole, to witness the inspirational comeback from Danny.
Alex Ramsay was called into action late in the game, as he kept out a long range effort from a Druids midfielder.
Despite there being three minutes of added time, Bala saw the game out to pick up all three points after a much improved second half performance.
Yellow Cards: Kieran Smith (11), Jonny Spittle (40), Chris Venables (88),
Red Cards: Steve Leslie (80)
Substitutions: Steve Leslie (23), Henry Jones (65), Danny Gosset (81)