Cymru Premier: Replayed game ends up all square – again

Cymru Premier leading marksman Chris Venables made it 11 goals for the season

Bala Town 1 (Chris Venables 76)
The New Saints 1 (Ben Clark 71)
Cymru Premier – November 7

After all the inconvenience of replaying a game originally abandoned in the 88th minute due to floodlight failure with the score at 2-2, the return match produced exactly the same outcome.

Different score at 1-1 maybe, but both teams still ended up with a point.

Forcing a second staging of this fixture, especially during a pandemic, attracted a lot of criticism and rightly so.

Bala edged a point ahead of Connah’s Quay in second place, while league leaders The New Saints are still five clear of the Lakesiders.

After the national two-week lockdown a full fixture list is scheduled for this weekend.

One of the highlights from Saturday was an 11th goal of the campaign for league top-scorer Chris Venables.

Yet again it was a familiar story, cross deep to the back post and a bullet header.

A 187th Cymru Premier goal for the Bala magician who keeps taking advantage of the fact defences never learn.

Town started strongly, Will Evans driving a powerful half volley across the box in the fifth minute, but the racing in Venables could not quite make the connection.

Venables then went close as a corner came into the front post, but his flick went wide.

Ollie Shannon saw his shot saved by Paul Harrison on 10 minutes.

Shannon went even nearer when his attempt cannoned off the post.

TNS had strong shouts for a penalty when former Bala player Louis Robles went over in the box, but the referee was unmoved.

Antony Kay was not far away from giving the hosts the lead with a decent effort before the break.

Half-time: 0-0

The second half got underway with an early scare for the Lakesiders, Adrian Cieslewicz thundering against the crossbar from the edge of the area.

A poor pass out from Harrison gave Venables a chance to take the lead, but the captain’s attempt lacked power and the keeper was able to recover.

Will Evans’ intended cross almost caught Harrison out, bouncing back off the crossbar.

Alex Ramsay saved well from Robles before denying a less taxing effort from Leo Smith.

The deadlock was finally broken in the 71st minute, Ben Clark latching onto a long pass from Ryan Astles to score.

Five minutes later substitute Lassana Mendes delivered a lovely ball to the back post for Venables to head home.

Anthony Stephens almost grabbed a Bala winner when his powerful strike clipped the top of the net.

With 88 minutes on the clock, the floodlights had survived longer than last time, and it ended all-square.

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