|30th April 2017||2:00 pm||Welsh Cup||2016/17|
|Holyhead Rd, Bangor, Gwynedd LL57 2HJ, UK|
|The New Saints||1|
Lakesiders win Welsh Cup for first time in their history!
The Lakesiders made history on Sunday afternoon as they pulled out the performance of the season to pick up the 2016/17 JD Welsh Cup.
A game that saw so much buildup, completely delivered as we were treated to a fantastic game that finally brought our winless run against The New Saints and bringing their dreams of a treble treble to an end.
Bala began very well taking the game to the Saints from the outset but the threat from the opponents was there too with the influencial Mullan saw his delivery flash across the face of goal in the opening minutes.
Morris was called into action when he blocked Routledge’s effort from range before down the other end, Harrison palmed away Hunt’s chance.
As the game grew, Bala were coming more and more into the game. A move starting from Hunt released Venables on the break, his ball found Stephens but his cross caught the wind and took too much power but a sign that Bala were not in the Final to make up the numbers.
Another superb full body width save from Morris kept a Draper header at bay prior to Stuart J Jones heading wide at the backpost from a Town corner.
On the halftime whistle, TNS were awarded a freekick on the edge of the D but Marriott blazed it out of the ground keeping the score at 0-0 and Town full of confidence going into the second half.
From the restart, Town could’ve taken the lead. Stephens’ ball into the area caused chaos in the Saints defence which forced Harrison into a last ditch save.
TNS upped the pressure and they were awarded a freekick which Marriott drove onto the crossbar.
On 56 minutes, our opponents broke the deadlock. Rawlinson’s effort was initially saved by Morris but Saunders scooped up the loose ball to square for Draper who had the easy task of tapping into an empty net.
Bala didn’t let their heads go down and were almost boosted from going behind as they dug deep and battled for everything after the opener.
Chances fell to Hunt, Stu Jones and Kieran amongst a scramble in the 18 yard box but by the time the ball hit the net, it was deemed offside.
A chance for Bala saw Hunt and Sheridan make way for Evans and Wade following another cracking save by Morris from a Mullan opportunity.
Town’s hardwork paid off when on 70 minutes, Jordan Evans equalised. A brilliant low ball from Stephens came into the box and was laid off by Burke for Evans around 22 yards out to curl his foot around the ball and fire past Harrison.
It got even better for Bala as with four minutes left to play as they took the lead. Venables pounced on the ball on the edge of the 18 and delivered a pinpoint ball which Kieran Smith leapt up and headed home to send the Lakesiders into mass celebrations.
The last few minutes were a complete blur but Town held on and were crowned winners of the JD Welsh Cup…who’d have thought it!
Every ball was kicked, tackle was battled for and faultless effort, determination and desire from every single player involved in a black and white shirt. The win was thoroughly deserved and we have written ourselves into the record books. What a brilliant way to end a fantastic season.
An incredible day for everyone involved from the players, management, committee and supporters. Thank you all for your loyal support and for the hundreds of messages that we’ve received over the weekend. Diolch i chi gyd.
Match photos courtesy of Naomi Jones – full album can be found here.