Photo by Gareth Elms PTAFC
EUROPA LEAGUE PLAY-OFF FINAL
PORT TALBOT TOWN 0 BALA TOWN 1
Bala Town FC will be playing European football for the first time in their history following their historic victory against Port Talbot at the GenQuip Stadium on Saturday.
John Irving’s 89th minute shot sent Bala into their seventh heaven and Port Talbot into despair.
The Lakesiders exorcised two ghosts by winning on Port Talbot’s patch for the first time in their history and also put behind them the disappointment of losing last season’s Final at the hands of Llanelli.
Colin Caton’s side’s13th consecutive victory seemed unlikely in the first half as the home side started brightly. Cortez Belle’s header rattled the Bala bar after 14 minutes but the visitors’ influence grew on the game and Mark Jones should have troubled Hall after 33 minutes but shot over the bar.
The second half was an equally tight affair and 10 minutes after the restart Bala felt that they should have been awarded a penalty as Lee Surman appeared to have handled in the box. Mr Petch waved away the Steelmen’s appeals away and Martin Rose almost immediately put Port Talbot ahead at the other end– but Morris saved smartly.
Mark Jones had another good chance after 73 minutes – but once again the Bala playmaker failed to keep his shot down. However the best chance of the 90 minutes fell to Lee Hunt – but Steven Hall’s impressive treble save denied Bala’s top scorer.
Cortez Belle claimed that he was pushed in the Bala box with 2 minutes left but play continued and John Irving took full advantage at the other end of the park to create history for Bala Town with his impressive angled shot from 18 yards.
<2r>John Irving oedd arwr Y Bala wrth i'w ergyd yn y munud olaf sicrhau lle yn Ewrop i glwb Maes Tegid am y tro cyntaf yn eu hanes. Cafwyd gornest gystadleuol yn Stadiwm yn y GenQuip gyda chyfleoedd da'n benodol i Mark Jones,Cortez Belle ac yn enwedig felly Lee Hunt.
Arbedodd Steven Hall dair ergyd hwyr Hunt yn wych - ond methodd ag atal Irving rhag ei guro yn y munud olaf un.
Rhaid cydymdeimlo gyda Phort Talbot am foddi wrth yml y lan - ond diwrnod Y Bala oedd hwn i fod - y diwrnod pwysicaf yn hanes balch y clwb.