Llanelli's Craig Williams in actiom (Evan Dobson)
Bala hosted Llanelli for the second time this season, with the previous meeting seeing a Llanelli side that travelled without any substitutes collect all 3 points with a 2-1 win.
Today’s match was played on a bitterly cold Sunday afternoon, with a very strong wind blowing across the length of the pitch.
The first chance of the match came in the 5th minuite, when a number of short passes by the Lakesiders ended with Lewis Codling playing in Lee Hunt, but the striker could only send his shot straight at Craig Morris in the Llanelli goal.
A few minutes later the action was in the Bala Town box, as the ball was played in to the danger area, and collected by Ashley Morris, who then spilt the ball, however the Bala keeper was able to recover the ball before a Llanelli player could get a shot away in the scramble that followed.
The 9th minute saw Bala awarded free kick 35 yards from goal, which was played in to the 18 yard box by Kenny Lunt, and met by the head of Stuart Jones, who leapt higher than any other player to head the ball goal words, and beyond the reach of the outstretched Craig Morris.
Bala Town’s Morris made his first save in the 24th minute, as Nick Holland shot at goal from the edge of the box, and the shot warmed the hands of Morris, who tipped the ball out for a corner. From the corner Morris collected the ball easily.
The second half saw Bala go further ahead, as a 54th minuite curling cross from John Irving was met by the stooped head of Lee Hunt, and saw the ball go into the bottom corner of the net, Bala were given the opportunity to put the result beyond doubt in the 59th minute, as referee Richard Harrington awarded the home side a penalty, after an Ian Sheridan cross struck the arm of Lee Hartshorn. The penalty was met by protests by the visiting players, as they felt that Hartshorn was so close to Sheridan that he couldn’t get his arm out of the way in time. Lee Hunt stepped up to take the spot kick, but he sent his effort over the crossbar.
The score was 3-0 in the 65th minute though, as Mark Jones ghosted passed his marker, and unleashed a shot from the edge of the box that went into the top corner of the net. It could have been 4-0 a minute later, however Morris tipped a Stephen Brown shot wide of the target.
With just over quarter of an hour to play Bala introduced Ryan Jones into the game, who was fresh from making his international debut for the Wales Under 18 squad against the Republic of Ireland in a 2-0 win at Bangor. Ryan almost had an instant impact, as he ran at the Llanelli goal before passing the ball to Sheridan, who sent his shot narrowly wide of the target. Ryan did the same thing again a minute later, however this time Sheridan sent his shot over the crossbar.
The visitors showed they could play some good football, as with 10 minutes to play they cut through the Bala defence with a series of intricate short passes, which ended with Jordan Smith shooting at goal, however Morris was on hand to make the save.
Bala were awarded a corner two minutes later, which was taken by Kenny Lunt, and met by the head of substitute Mark Connolly, who leapt high to head the ball into the roof of the net.
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