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Bala drop late points again but move into second spot

Will Evans was on the mark for Bala. Picture: Bala Town FC

Haverfordwest County 1 (Jack Wilson 89)
Bala Town 1 (Will Evans 81)
Cymru Premier – October 31, 2020

Bala’s recent weakness for conceding late goals could end up proving costly for them in this season’s title race.

They ended up pointless four weeks ago after Haverfordwest beat them with a 94th minute winner at Maes Tegid – their only defeat to date.

And on Halloween, there was another late horror for the Lakesiders when they dropped two more points after the Bluebirds landed a late equaliser at the Bridge Meadow.

Although the draw was enough to nudge Colin Caton’s men up to second, edging above Connah’s Quay Nomads on goal difference, the pair now trail leaders The New Saints by five points.

Haverfordwest started well with Danny Williams forcing a good low save from Jon Rushton in the third minute.

Town went close to a bizarre goal on 10 minutes when Sean Smith’s cross bounced off the top of the crossbar.

In the 12th minute Williams had a brilliant chance for County when he was picked out in space and one-on-one with the keeper but skewed his effort.

Williams’ brilliant pass released Jack Wilson on 26 minutes, but Rushton was equal to the shot.

Wilson then showed stunning skill on the left but his low centre across the face of goal failed to find a home shirt.

Haver were doing most of the attacking, yet Bala carried a regular threat, Raul Correia heading inches wide before Steven Leslie’s fierce 20-yard free kick was smartly beaten away by keeper Matthew Turner.

Half-time: 0-0

Bala turned on the pressure after the break, 10-goal top-scorer Chris Venables nodding over from a Leslie corner before being denied by the bravery of Turner.

Lassana Mendes was foiled by a fingertip save from Turner, then Oliver Shannon drilled tantalisingly across the face of goal.

Haverfordwest’s first serious effort of the half so nearly brought a goal, Elliot Scotcher hitting the post from a 77th minute free kick.

Town were looking the likelier scorers though, and the deadlock was finally broken on 81 minutes.

A skilful flick by Henry Jones down the right released Leslie, whose cross was lashed into the net by Will Evans arriving at the near post.

Mark Jones went close before the same man set up the equaliser in the 89th minute.

Jones burst forward from midfield and found un unmarked Wilson, whose shot found the net despite Rushton getting a hand to the ball.

There were eight minutes of added time and County could have won it when Scotcher’s looping cross to the back stick found Jones, but Rushton had narrowed the angle and pushed the shot out for a corner.

Bala: 26 Jon Rushton, 3 Sean Smith, 4 Nathan Peate, 5 Anthony Stephens, 8 Will Evans, 9 Raul Correia (10 Henry Jones 67), 14 Steven Leslie, 15 Antony Kay, 20 Lassana Mendes (12 Liam Davies 84), 25 Chris Venables, 29 Oliver Shannon. Subs not used: 6 Jonathan Spittle, 18 Llyr Morris, 23 Ryan Pryce.

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