Bala Town 3, Prestatyn Town 0
Written by Gavin Billington on Sun 11th March 12, 19:23
Bala hosted Prestatyn for the second time this season, with the Denbighshire sideís last visit producing a 1-1 draw, with player/manger Neil Gibson scoring for the visitors and Chris Mason equalising for Bala.
A Bala win would give them a very strong chance of finishing in 5th place and one place above todayís visitors, as the victory would put them 14 points clear, with a game in hand, and with Prestatyn only having 15 points to play for.
Bala almost gifted a goal to their opponents in the first minute, as Stuart Jones gave the ball away to Darren Hughes, who was clean through on goal, but could only put his shot over the crossbar.
A minute later the Lakesiders came close to scoring, as Ian Sheridan crossed to Mark Jones in the penalty area, and Jonesís first time shot produced a great save from Jon Hill-Dunt.
The first substitution of the game came in the 13th minute; however it wasnít a change in the playing personnel, but a change in the officials, as linesman John Swindley was unable to continue, after falling ill and having a dizzy spell, and had to be replaced for the reminder of the match by 4th official Mark Farrington.
Shortly afterwards a cross across the Prestatyn box fell to the feet of Mark Jones, who wacked a shot at goal and into the back of the net to give Bala the lead.
With 4 minutes of normal time remaining Bala hit the Seasiders on the break as Sheridan went on a long run before passing to Mark Jones, who played in Lee Hunt, whose shot pulled a great save out of Hill-Dunt.
Hunt was at it again in the second minute of stoppage time, as he ran to get his head on to the end of a long ball into the box from Conall Murtagh, but the ball was always going away from him, and he could only head it wide.
Prestatyn came out of the blocks quickly in the second half, and came close to pulling a goal back, as Gareth Wilson went on a long run, before shooting across goal, but his shot went narrowly wide of the target.
Two minutes later it was Bala that came close to increasing their lead, as Prestatyn made a mess of a clearance, which went straight to Stef Edwards, whose shot took a deflection before going way over the crossbar.
Bala were able to double their advantage in the 66th minute, as John Irving went on a long run and started off a great passing move, which ended with Lee Hunt passing to Sheridan, who curled his shot into the bottom corner of the net.
A minute later Sheridan probably should have made it 3-0, as a Hill-Dunt clearance went straight into his path, but he could only send his close range effort sky high over the crossbar.
With less than ten minutes left to play Prestatyn came close to getting a foothold into the game, as Steve Rodgers got clean through, and he saw his shot cleared by Stuart Jones, before a second shot from Rodgers was cleared for a corner. From the corner Paul OíNeil saw his shot cleared off the line by John Irving.
Bala were given the opportunity to put the result beyond doubt in the 84th minute, as referee Nick Pratt pointed to the penalty spot as a result of a handball from Dave Hayes. Lee Hunt sent the keeper the wrong way from the spot kick to make the score 3-0.
Match Photos courtesy of Evan L. Dobson
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