Caernarfon earn the bragging rights on Derby Day.
After the disappointment of the mid-week defeat to table toppers Connah’s Quay, The Lakesiders returned to Maes Tegid this weekend (20th of March) to face Gwynedd Rivals Caernarfon Town, with a good chance to bounce back from the mid-week defeat. The clubs had previously battled it out in the reverse fixture back in December, where the points were shared in a 1-1 draw at The Oval, however this time there would be a winner…
We got underway at Maes Tegid, with Deadline Day signing Jack Mackreth making his competitive debut for the club. Early on, Mackreth had a chance to stretch his legs, after he was tasked to chase a ball over the top of the Caernarfon defence, however former Bala Shot Stopper Josh Tibbetts came out to collect.
The visitors came close in the opening ten minutes, after a corner was swung in to the back post, only for the header to go wide of the post.
On 17 minutes Bala took the lead! This time, a Bala corner was pinged into the box, and on the end of it was Will Evans, who headed the ball into the ground and with a bit of luck, took a deflection off a Caernarfon player and into the net! Despite the deflection, the goal was given to Will, who scores his 11th of the season!
Raul and Will linked up well on the edge of the Caernarfon box, as Raul earned a free kick after being fouled. The free kick was taken by Venables who tested the hands of Tibbetts with a powerful strike, however Tibbetts got down well to make the save.
This time Venables and Mackreth linked up well, as The Captain put a ball through the visitors’ defence into the path of Mackreth, who managed to win a corner after making it to the byline.
Another brilliant chance for Bala, as Mackreth put another superb ball into the box, but Venables’ headed effort went wide.
Colin Caton was forced into a substitution after half an hour, as Raul Correia could not continue with an injury, and Henry Jones came on in his place.
With just a couple minutes left of the half, Kieran Smith tried his luck from just outside the box, as the ball sat up for him, however his strike trickled wide of the post.
The whistle went to signal the end of the half, with Will Evans’ goal being the difference between the two sides, with Bala putting in a solid first half performance, yet lacking another goal or two…
We got back underway for the second half, and all of a sudden it was 1-1. Former Bala Forward Mike Hayes curled a brilliant effort into the left hand side of the goal, after making his way passed a few Bala players and slotting the ball into the inside of the net. Back to square one right at the start of the half!
The Lakesiders attempted to claw back the lead through Will Evans, as he took a strike on goal, but Tibbetts got across his goal to stop the shot, then minutes later Antony Kay hit a half volley from long range, but his effort was dragged wide.
Another good cross into the box from Jack Mackreth, saw Henry Jones get on the end of it, yet his effort was scuffed towards goal and Tibbetts came and collected.
The visitor’s comeback was completed on 70 minutes, as Paulo Mendes had an easy tap in from close range to give his side the lead, after some poor defending from Bala.
Substitute Jacob Bickerstaff almost increased the Cofi’s lead, but his shot was dragged wide of the post.
As we went into four minutes of added time, Bala should of grabbed the equaliser… As Mackreth put the ball into the mixer, and a goal line scramble almost saw Bala bundle the ball in, but the visitors were able to hang on and clear the danger.
The whistle went for full time and Caernarfon hanged on for the three points, to the disappointment of The Lakesiders. A second half comeback from the Cofi’s saw them pick up the three points, and climb into the Champions Conference places. A bad day at the office for Bala, who just couldn’t find a goal in the second half, despite the solid first half performance, however we go again next weekend, with a trip down to Barry Town!
Substitutions: Henry Jones (32), Lassana Mendes (73), Ryan Pryce (73).
Yellow Cards: Antony Kay (45+1), Henry Jones (53).