|17th June 2017||2:00 pm||Other||2017/18|
Defeat to Irish Champions but heartening performance by the Lakesiders!
The Lakesiders got the 2017-18 season underway this afternoon as we welcomed NIFL outfit Linfield to a roasting hot Maes Tegid that saw a bumper crowd witness a superb game of football between two team preparing for European football.
Our visitors started well and took an early hold of the game. A double block involving Thompson and Morris denied a first opportunity after five minutes on the clock. Two freekicks from around 25 yards were blocked by the Bala defence who were the busier of the two backlines in the opening stages.
Hayes and new Lakesider Les Davies combined to release Ryan Wade down the wing but the move saw the ball go out of play as they started to come into the game.
A huge chance fell to the visitors who should’ve taken the lead. A delivery from the right was miskicked by the forward who put the ball wide from 3 yards!
Chris Venables’ freekick from the edge of the area following a foul on Burke was tipped around the post by Carroll.
On 24 minutes, Linfield took the lead. Niall Quinn burst down the left and crossed the ball to Andy Waterworth who slotted home from around 4 yards out.
Town shotstopper Ashley Morris made an impressive one handed save to tip over Paul Smyth’s strike before down the other end Hayes and Davies linked up again but the Linfield defence swept it away.
Five minutes before the interval, Linfield doubled their lead. Following a foul in the box, the referee pointed to the spot which Aaron Burns stepped up and turned the ball into the left hand corner making it 2-0.
Town could’ve got a goal back from the restart when a cross came into the area to meet incoming Burke but his diving header was brilliantly kept out by Carroll.
The second half was better by Bala who started brightly and put more pressure on the Linfield defence.
A number of changes for both sides saw the squads rotated ahead of the upcoming European games but midway through the second half, Bala got a goal back.
The cross came from the left by Trialist B and was flicked on to Mark Connolly who turned and struck first time and driving his chance past Deane to make it 2-1.
Morris was called into action when Ross Clarke broke free but he dived low and pushed the ball out for a corner.
Linfield made it 3-1 after Kirk Millar’s delivery was met by Cameron Stewart who headed past Morris and sealed their win.
A great day at Maes Tegid with good competitive football, a superb set of supporters and brilliant preparation ahead of our respective European games. Thank you to Linfield for coming over to Maes Tegud – we hope our paths cross again very soon! Best of luck in the Champions League and we hope you have a safe journey home.
Bala Town: Morris, S Jones, Thompson, Burke, Hayes (Connolly 55’), Wade (Trialist B 55’), Davies, Venables (Toner 61’), Bell, Owens, Trialist A (Stephens 40’)
Linfield: Carroll (GK) (Deane 65’), Glendinning (Millar 45’), Haughey, Casement, Clarke, Quinn, Garrett (Lynch 67’), Mulgrew © (Mitchell 45’), Smyth (R.Clarke 67’), Waterworth (C.Stewart 57’), Burns (J.Stewart 57’)
Match photos by Naomi Jones – more can be viewed here.