Tuesday 22nd September
Aberystwyth Town 1 Bala Town 1
Our ever popular freshers week fixture was a match to behold. Aberystwyth played fantastically to earn a draw against the league leaders, Bala, and perhaps were unlucky not to get more from the game.
The visitors started strongly, showing why they’re top of the table and came close on several occasions but the defence that played so well last week held out. Aberystwyth began to work their way back into the game, Chris Venables heading inches wide of the upright from a well worked cross. Despite the growing balance in the game, it was Bala who took the lead on 13 minutes. A ball over the top evaded Stuart Jones and fell to Lakesiders forward Lee Hunt who rifled it under Mike Lewis in the Aber goal. Aber fought back, keeping possession well but were unable to unlock the Bala defence, a few cross-field diagonal balls not reaching their desired targets. Chances did come though and it was midfield maestro Luke Sherbon who tested Bala ‘keeper Ashley Morris’ with a 20 yard drive which proved too hot to handle but was gratefully gathered by the keeper on the rebound. Jamie Reed also created a handful of chances as Geoff Kellaway made inroads down the wing. The noise level grew as the half progressed as the Black and Greens looked ever more dangerous and came agonisingly close to levelling the score through Stuart Jones from a corner in the dying minutes of the first period, but Ashley Morris pulled off a wonder save to keep Bala ahead.
A change of tactics saw pacy Aber winger, Geoff Kellaway get more opportunities to run at the defence and Aber began to grow in confidence as Kellaway persistently troubled the visiting back four. The chances came in abundance but still they couldn’t find that all important goal. Darren Thomas had a pop from the edge of the box but it flew wide and then several chances were blocked away within the box. The equalizer finally came in the 78th minute as substitute Rhys Griffiths fired home to send the large home attendance, boosted by 75 Freshers, into raptures. A winner was on the cards for Aber and they knocked on the door time and time again but a strong performance from Morris in the Bala goal kept the score level.
A very satisfying result and a performance that is sure to serve as a good advert for the league to new students. This result and results elsewhere mean Aberystwyth remain in the Top 6 as they look to emulate last season’s success.
Report by Tomos Ings
Photo courtesy of Naomi Jones, Bala Town FC