BALA Town manager Colin Caton is confident that his side can turn around their disappointing run in the JD Welsh Premier League.
Without a win in their last three Welsh Premier League games, Bala Town were held to a 1-1 home draw last Friday by an Aberystwyth Town side still searching for their first victory of the season.
The Lakesiders at least scored their first league goal for a month when visiting keeper Chris Mullock palmed away an Ian Sheridan shot and Nathan Burke followed-up to slot home the rebound.
The lead lasted until the stroke of half-time when Bala failed to clear a corner and Jonny Spittle got the final touch with a header to beat keeper Ashley Morris.
Both sides had chances after the break but neither were unable to find a breakthrough, leaving the Lakesiders in ninth place and the Seasiders rock bottom.
Despite the two points dropped manager Caton said that he could take positives from the game as they prepared to welcome Bangor City this Saturday.
“The lads have done well tonight,” said Caton. “They’ve shown great endeavour, and we should have gone on to win the game - but you only deserve to win games if you defend well and take your chances, and we didn’t take our chances.
“That’s what’s costing us at the moment, because we worked really hard and should have had more, but we’ll keep going and keep fighting, and we’ll turn it.”
After showing signs of improvement in their home defeat to Bangor, unchanged Aber were initially unable to find any early rhythm as Bala imposed their high-pressing game. On seven minutes, Bala winger Nathan Burke dragged a shot wide of goal, before Aber’s Declan Walker was able to clear an effort off the line.
The Seasiders tried to get the ball down and pass it, but Bala, on the back of three successive league defeats, held the upper hand, with their intensity and direct play.
On 19 minutes Geoff Kellaway made way for Mathew Jones due to injury, with the youngster going onto the left wing.
Bala made the breakthrough on 28 minutes when home goalkeeper Ashley Morris launched the ball downfield, and Nathan Burke set up Ian Sheridan, whose effort was well saved by Chris Mullock, only for Burke to put away the rebound.
Aber reacted, with Ryan Wade, Mathew Jones, Joe Phillips and Luke Borrelli providing slick movement across the front line, but they struggled to create chances.
Then on 42 minutes there was a lengthy stoppage due to a nasty clash of heads between Aberystwyth defender John McKenna and Ian Sheridan, with the Bala man having to be replaced by Mike Hayes.
The Aber centre half came out of it with a Terry Butcher-esque bandage wrapped around his head, but he carried on for the rest of the game. This led to five minutes of additional time being added on at the end of the first half, and deep into that stoppage time the visitors equalised.
Cledan Davies whipped in a dangerous corner kick and Ashley Young rose highest to head the ball back in 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 Ashley Morris as his left footed shot looked destined for the net.
Bala went close when Les Davies missed a good chance, and Andrei Jones also got close to latching on to a good throughball.
As the game entered the final 30 minutes, however, Aber were on top, and striving for a winner. Ryan Wade and Declan Walker 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.
At the other end, Burke and Hayes went close, and a 25 yard rocket by Jordan Evans whistled over, but as the game entered stoppage time, Aber’s Borrelli latched on to a through ball from Declan Walker, only to be flagged offside, to the dismay of the vocal travelling supporters.
BALA TOWN: A Morris, R Valentine, S Jones, S J Jones, E Horwood, D Thompson, N Burke, J Evans, I Sheridan (M Hayes 41 minutes), A Jones, L Davies (G Rule 83 minutes. Substitutes, not used: C Vernon (gk), W Bell.
ABERYSTWYTH: C Mullock, D Walker, C Davies, J Spittle, R Wollacott, G Kellaway (M Jones 19’), L Borrelli, R Wade, A Young, J McKenna, J Phillips. Subs not used: C Hobson, J Rimmer, H Horwood, L Jenkins, L Doherty.
Attendance: 254 Referee: Rob Jenkins.Read Aberystwyth Town manager Neville Powell’s reaction on the link below.