Friday 29th September
JD Welsh Premier League
Bala Town 1-1 Aberystwyth Town
Aberystwyth Town earned a well-deserved point at Maes Tegid on Friday night as they held Welsh Cup holders Bala Town to a 1-1 draw with a spirited performance. Nathan Burke opened the scoring for the lakesiders in the 28th minute, but Aber captain Jonny Spittle equalised deep into stoppage time at the end of the first half, to earn Aber another point on their travels this season.
Aber were unchanged from last weekend’s defeat to Bangor, but were unable to find any early rhythm as Bala imposed their high-pressing game on Nev Powell’s men. On 7 minutes, Bala winger Nathan Burke dragged a shot wide before Aber’s Declan Walker was on hand to clear an effort off the line shortly afterwards. Town tried their hardest to get the ball down and pass it, but Bala’s intensity and direct play was proving to be a problem. On 19 minutes Geoff Kellaway made way for Mathew Jones due to injury, with the talented youngster going over to the play on the left wing. On 28 minutes, Bala found the breakthrough as goalkeeper Ashley Morris launched the ball downfield, and after Ian Sheridan was put through on goal Chris Mullock pulled off an excellent save, but Nathan Burke was on hand to put away the rebound for the hosts. Aber reacted well to the goal with the tandem of Ryan Wade, Mathew Jones, Joe Phillips and Luke Borrelli providing some slick movement across the front line. Both sides struggled to create clear-cut chances, and on 42 minutes there was a lengthy stoppage in play due to a nasty clash of heads with John McKenna and Ian Sheridan; the Aber centre half coming out of it with a Terry Butcher-esque bandage wrapped around his head. This led to 5 minutes of additional time being added on at the end of the first half, and deep into that stoppage time Aber got their equaliser. Cledan Davies whipped in a dangerous corner kick and Ashley Young rose highest to head the ball back into the six-yard box, where Jonny Spittle was on hand to hook the ball into the roof of the net.
Aber came out for the second half like a team possessed, and started on the front foot with some free-flowing attacking play. Luke Borrelli fired a shot over the bar, and on 51 minutes Joe Phillips forced a fine save from Bala ‘keeper Ashley Morris as his left foot shot was destined for the bottom corner. Bala themselves had chances of their own soon after, Les Davies wasting a good opportunity and Andrei Jones coming close to latching on to a through ball. But as the game entered the final 30 minutes Aber were on top, and striving for that winning goal. Ryan Wade and Declan Walker both headed good chances just over the bar, before Joe Phillips again came close with a long-range effort after cutting inside with a weaving run. As the game entered second half stoppage time, Aber thought they would have one more golden opportunity as Luke Borrelli latched on to a through ball from Declan Walker, but he was flagged offside, much to the dismay of the vocal travelling support.
As the referee blew the full time whistle, Aber had to settle for a point, but one senses there were a few slightly disappointed faces in the visitors’ dressing room after the game knowing that on another night, Town could so easily have been taking all three points with them back down the A487. Nevertheless, it was another spirited performance from Nev Powell’s men, who praised his team’s efforts and style of play after the game.
Town will now face two home games as they host Airbus UK Broughton in the Nathaniel MG Cup on Tuesday night, followed by the JD Welsh Premier League clash with Barry Town United next Saturday. Keep the faith