Cymru Premier: Venables double wins it for Bala

Chris Venables is proving unstoppable for Bala this season

Caernarfon Town 1 (N Edwards 33)

Bala Town 2 (Venables 67 & 81)

JD Cymru Premier – February 7, 2020

On his 450th Welsh Premier appearance, Chris Venables struck at the double to secure Bala a third win of the season over Caernarfon Town.

League top-scorer Venables missed three sitters in the first half, including a penalty, but would not be denied and scored on 67 and 81 minutes to seal three points for Colin Caton’s men.

In atrocious conditions at The Oval, Caernarfon created the first real chance on 10 minutes when Noah Edwards, Darren Thomas and Sam Jones exchanged passes before Sion Bradley’s firm low shot was well saved by Josh Tibbets.

Two minutes later the Lakesiders were awarded a penalty when referee Robert Jenkins decided a foul by Leo Smith on Venables took place in the box.

Venables took the spot-kick, but unusually for him he blasted high and wide.

Caernarfon were coping well playing into the strong wind and it was they who took a 33rd minute lead. Thomas fed a neat ball to the edge of the box where Noah Edwards turned and buried his effort into the bottom left-hand corner.

Home keeper Alex Ramsay acrobatically tipped a fierce Henry Jones strike over the bar, then at the other end a slip from defender Shaun Kelly looked to have set up Sam Jones for a run in on goal, but the young forward’s control let him down and Tibbetts was able to collect easily.

Venables somehow missed with a header from point blank range before Kelly should have done better from a Jones corner but nodded over the target.

Half-time: Caernarfon 1 Bala 0

Venables’ initial off-night continued two minutes into the second half, when his diving header from just three yards out missed the goal.

In the 57th minute brilliant work by Bradley inside the box looked likely to result in a goal, but Tibbetts made himself big and smothered the forward’s attempt.

Although Venables had missed three golden chances, the Cofis could not afford to keep giving him opportunities and sure enough they were made to pay in the 67th minute.

Substitute Steven Leslie cushioned a lovely header into the path of Venables, who coolly slotted the ball past Ramsay for 1-1.

Caernarfon had not learned their lesson, as on 81 minutes a looping cross into the box from Lassana Mendes saw Venables hold off the challenge of Thomas and head in the winner with his 20th goal of the season.

The hosts thought they had equalised when Bradley fired home, but play was called back for a foul by Thomas in the build-up.

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