Corbettsports Welsh Premier League
Friday 17th April
Aberystwyth Town 1 Bala Town 2
Park Avenue's biggest crowd of the season, boosted by a pre match Club Photo, saw Aber concede two goals in the last quarter of this game to Europe bound Bala, on a night when a decent performance from the home side deserved a draw at least on the balance of play.
The game started with both sides showing attacking intent but defending stoutly. Lee Hunt screwed a header just wide for Bala, and Ian Sheridan grazed the crossbar with a header, but Aber responded well. Luke Sherbon's shot certainly hit a Bala defenders' hand but no penalty was awarded, and minutes later Sherbon again was a touch away from glory. Chris Davies sent an excellent cross in from the right which eluded everyone, then on 34 minutes the breakthrough came as Wyn Thomas' deep cross found Chris Venables at the back post, who nodded home his 28th League goal of the season, and a tight half ended 1-0 to the homesters.
Town started the second half confidently, searching for the killer second goal as they attacked the Dias Stand. Mike Lewis sprinted off his line to deny Sheridan, and Wyn Thomas and Stuart Jones made some crucial tackles and blocks, then at the other end Mark Jones headed Craig Williams' cross agonizingly wide. Williams then drew a save from Ashley Morris in the Bala goal before a Sherbon chip was miraculously cleared off the line. Antonio Corbisiero went down in the box, again to no avail, but then on 73 minutes clinical Bala scored from a rare breakaway as Lee Hunt sneaked in at the near post to equalise from a left wing cross. Lewis had to deny Hunt who was clean through minutes later, and with Aber pushing vainly for a vital winner, the visitors broke in the 90th minute through Sheridan down the left channel, and he scored a crucial winner. There was still time for Sherbon again to be denied from 4 yards out, but it was not to be and Bala celebrated wildly at the final whistle, knowing that the result had probably clinched them a place in next season's UEFA Europa League.
Aber's regular WPL Season ends next Sunday with a trip to Port Talbot (ko 1pm). The Black and Greens now know for sure that they will finish fourth, and will contest the UEFA Europa League Play Offs in May. Town are certain to be at home in the Semi Finals on Sunday May 10th (to Port Talbot if Newtown win the Welsh Cup, or to the 7th placed side (Rhyl/Carmarthen/Connah's Quay) if TNS win the Cup. The Final will follow a week later - and the potential opponents will be known after the Welsh Cup Final.