Author: Dafydd Jones
Publisher: Y Clwb Pêl Droed
Bala Town fought back to reduce the gap on the top two with a 2-1 victory over Aberystwyth Town at Park Avenue.
Despite falling behind to Rhys Davies’ early header, Gary Roberts’ penalty, along with Lassana Mendes’ header saw the visitors claim an important three points.
In a tight, competitive affair, Colin Caton’s side weathered a late storm to seal the win.
The Lakesiders now trail Connah’s Quay Nomads in second by three points, and are six points behind league leaders The New Saints.
Aberystwyth Town succumb to their eighth defeat of the season and remain in tenth position.
In a frantic start at Park Avenue, Bala Town went close to taking an early lead.
Midfielder Lassana Mendes found space in the Aberystwyth box to fire at goal, only to be denied by a brilliant double save by Connor Roberts.
The Seasiders hit back however, winning a free-kick by the Bala Town corner flag.
Aberystwyth Town left-back Rhys Davies met the delivery and powered a header past Alex Ramsay to open the scoring.
Gavin Allen’s side’s lead lasted just four minutes, as Will Evans, November’s Cymru Premier Player of the Month, ran in-behind in the Aberystwyth defence.
Evans went down under the challenge of Louis Gerrard, and referee Benjamin Williams controversially awarded a penalty.
Gary Roberts cooly slotted into the bottom-left corner to record his first goal since joining the club.
The referee was again called into action when Aberystwyth appealed for a penalty for handball, but the protests were waived away by Williams.
As the Lakesiders pushed to take the lead, a curling effort from the edge of the box was superbly kept out by Roberts.
Caton’s side weren’t to be denied however, as Lassana Mendes met the resulting delivery from Sean Smith with a towering header to give the visitors the lead.
The contest calmed after the frantic start, as the Lakesiders went into the break with a 2-1 lead.
The second-half started much as the first ended, as little clear-cut opportunities fell for either side.
Will Evans went close to giving the visitors a two-goal cushion, as the attacker headed Henry Jones’ cross towards goal, only to be denied by a superb save by Roberts.
An opportunity fell to Aberystwyth Town utility player Jack Thorn, as Marc Williams found him on the edge of the box, only for his powerful drive to be blocked superbly by Ollie Shannon.
Despite a lack of chances in the second-half, Gavin Allen’s side had a huge opportunity to level the score.
Captain Marc Williams was played through and with only Alex Ramsay to beat, the goalkeeper denied him with a fantastic save.
The hosts thought they had found a late equaliser when Williams turned home a free-kick delivery into the box.
The Aberystwyth Town attacker was adjudged to have handled the ball by referee Benjamin Williams.
Despite late pressure from the Seasiders, Bala Town held on to secure a valuable three points.
In their next fixture, Bala Town return to Maes Tegid after three consecutive away fixtures, as they host Cardiff Metropolitan University on Saturday, while Aberystwyth Town face Caernarfon Town at Park Avenue.
Aberystwyth Town: Connor Roberts, Lee Jenkins, Mathew Jones (George Harry 76’), Marc Williams, Rhys Davies, Steff Davies, Jonathan Evans, Steven Hewitt, Jonathan Foligno (Louis Gerrard 8’) (Louis Bradford 23’), Jack Thorn, Jack Rimmer
Goals: Rhys Davies 9’
Yellow Cards: Mathew Jones 15’
Bala Town: Alex Ramsay, Sean Smith, Anthony Stephens, Jonny Spittle, Will Evans, Henry Jones, Antony Kay, Lassana Mendes, Gary Roberts (Llyr Morris 77’), Ryan Pryce, Ollie Shannon
Goals: Gary Roberts 14’, Lassana Mendes 30’
Yellow Cards: Anthony Stephens 77’, Llyr Morris 88’
(Featured Image: Dafydd Jones)