BALA Town picked up a valuable point to kick off Phase Two ahead of another tough test against champions The New Saint this Friday evening.
Bala Town 1 Cardiff Met 1, JD Cymru Premier Championship
The Lakesiders were the better side on the day and created the lion’s share of goalscoring opportunities but lacked a clinical edge.
Bala boss Colin Caton said: “We dominated the first half up until five minutes before half time when they scored and they had a few scrappy moments that we let them have.
“Apart from that we’ve absolutely dominated it without taking the chances that we’ve created.”
Bala’s first opening arrived on the quarter hour mark when Aeron Edwards whipsped in a free kick from the right and almost found the head of Joe Malkin, the ball gathered by Met keeper Alex Lang.
At the other end, Christopher Craven sent a well-struck effort towards Kelland Absalom’s goal from around 25 yards out, but the ball curled away from the goal.
Bala debutant Josh Solomon-Davies almost broke the deadlock with a stinging effort from the right hand side of the box, but the ball cleared the bar by inches.
Clear-cut chances were few and far between but most were falling Bala’s way.
Josh Ukek attempted an acrobatic effort from close range, but failed to get the right connection to trouble the keeper.
But it was the visitors who took the lead on 43 minutes during their best spell of the half when Finley Skiverton latched on to Tom Price’s corner to head in at the far post to notch his first goal in the Cymru Premier.
It was a sickener for Bala who had controlled proceedings for most of the half but they almost drew level in added-on time when Joe Malkin’s effort on the volley cannoned off the post and onto the goalkeeper and eventually went out for a corner.
The hosts continued to press after the turnaround but Met were defending doggedly with Bala failing to overly concern Lang in goal.
They continued to push for an equaliser, as Luke Wall sent in a teasing cross towards George Newell on 78 minutes but he couldn’t get to the ball before the keeper.
Their big chance arrived moments later when Malkin’s pass into the area was handled by C J Craven and the referee, after assessing the situation for a few seconds, pointed towards the penalty spot.
Up stepped Bala’s top scorer George Newell in confident mood.
His initial attempt was saved by Lang but the rebound fell kindly towards him and he prodded the ball high into the back of the net.
Sensing blood, Bala upped the ante further as they hunted a winner and nearly found one in the dying moments when they were denied what they thought was a stonewall second penalty for a trip on Newell before the ball was diverted for a corner.
And from the flag kick, their 10th of the afternoon, Paulo Mendes’ downward header was brilliantly palmed away by Lang,
Mendes pounced on the loose ball but his volleyed effort from a tight angle was cleared as the students held on for a point.