The goal mid-way through the first half was enough to settle the tie and secured Bala Town’s first win of the season.
Birthday boy Lee Jenkins failed to shake off an injury sustained at Flint Town Unirws which gave Owen Orford his first league start for the Seasiders. Elsewhere, there was a home debut for Raul Correia after he overcame the knock he sustained on the North Wales coast on the weekend.
Under a cool and cloudy August night sky, the hosts started the contests brightly and fashioned two early opportunities which both fell to the feet of midfielder Jamie Veale. His first effort, a volley from outside the area, was comfortably stopped by Alex Ramsay before he blazed a shot over following excellent work out wide from Harry Franklin.
The visitors, who came in to the match on the back of three successive draws, created chances of their own through Stephen Leslie, who could only hit the side netting from a free kick and Welsh international David Edwards who dragged a shot wide after a swift counter attack.
The Lakesiders took the lead in the 27th minute when Darlington turned in a dangerous Will Evans cross past the helpless Gregor Zabret in the home goal.
The lead was somewhat harsh on Corbesiero’s men who despite not creating many chances, were strong in possession and looked dangerous when going forward.
In fact, they had a fantastic opportunity to draw level just seconds after going behind when Harry Franklin was fed through. The former Evesham man ran from deep, beat the offside trap and charged towards the away goal but his shot could only trickle agonisingly past Ramsay’s post.
Jack Thorn went close for Aber when he hooked a chance over the crossbar from close range following good work from Orford down the right whilst for Colin Caton’s side, Lassana Mendes intercepted well on the edge of the area but could only curl his shot harmlessly wide of the far post.
After the interval, Aber had a good opportunity within seconds of the referee’s whistle as Jon Owen sliced a shot wide following good build up play down the left whilst just minutes later, only the crossbar denied Bala increasing their lead as Mendes cut inside and curled a shot which cannoned off the woodwork and away to safety.
Darlington saw a shot comfortably saved and the visitors carved out half chances of their own through Edwards, Leslie and Nathan Peate none of which seriously tested Zabret.
As the half progressed, Aber looked for an equaliser but the imperious duo of Jonny Spittle and Peate at the heart of the Bala defence dealt superbly with everything thrown in their direction. With the hosts pushing forward, the team in white broke forward and Mendes had a great chance to confirm the victory but could only shoot wide after a brisk counter attack.
Despite two stoppage time goals in three games in games involving Aber this season, there was to be no late drama this time around although substitute Jonny Evans nearly delivered a third game of spectacular endings. He delivered a superb cross into the penalty area deep into the added time. The ball landed on the penalty spot but no one in green could get a telling touch and the ball was eventually cleared by Peate to earn Bala their maiden three points of the season.
After a busy start to the league season, attention turns to the JD Welsh Cup on Saturday with the visit of Aber Valley. With a large crowd expected, it looks set to be a fantastic occasion. Kick off is at 2:00pm. We hope to see you there!