Controversial added-time winner denies Flint deserved point

Dave Edwards grabbed Bala’s winner. Graphic: BALA TOWN FC


Flint Town United 1 (Wilde 30)
Bala Town 2 (Venables 75, Edwards 90)

Controversy shrouded Bala Town’s added-time winner at the Essity Stadium tonight.

The 90 minutes were up when the visitors were awarded a throw-in on the right, even though the ball clearly went out off the Lakesiders’ Bradley Bauress.

Oliver Southern took the throw, exchanged passes with Chris Venables, fed substitute Chris Sang who brilliantly turned his marker, crossed low into the box and there was midfielder David Edwards to volley in the winner.

A great goal and one worthy of winning any match, but it should never have come about.

It was rough justice on Flint, who well-deserved their 1-0 half time lead and although Bala rallied and dominated much of the second period, a draw would have been a fairer outcome.

Bala started fluently and found some good attacking positions, but they were unable to test home keeper Jon Rushton once in the first half.

Flint had the first effort on goal in the 21st minute when Jack Kenny’s cross was met by a firm Sam Hart header, but away glovesman Harri Lloyd held it comfortably.

On the half hour, the Silkmen took the lead.

Following a sweeping move, Hart delivered a sublime cross from the left and Mike Wilde timed his leap to perfection to head home.

If that was a typical Wilde goal, then the third all-time highest Cymru Premier marksman nearly added a second of the type he is not normally associated with.

The 38-year-old made a 60-yard run from inside his own half and with a lucky break of the ball was able to get a shot away which came off the post.

Bala were much more threatening in attack at the start of the second half.

Steve Leslie turned and shot wide before a Bauress cross was headed goalwards by Edwards. but Rushton tipped the ball away.

Nathan Peate’s header was well held by Rushton before the game saw a major turning point.

In the 65th minute, Ben Maher crossed from the left and Kenny had a free header but missed the target.

Had that chance been snapped up the points would surely have been in the bag.

Flint paid the price in the 75th minute, when sub Lassana Mendes crossed from the left and Venables nodded in the equaliser.

Bala now had the bit between their teeth and looked likely to go on to win the game.

However, Flint fluffed another great chance when Jake Phillips latched on to a defensive error and homed in on goal, but dragged his effort wide.

In the act of shooting, Phillips was clattered and the hosts called for a spot-kick, but the decision was rightly given as no penalty.

Flint worked hard defensively to cling on for a point, but that appalling throw-in decision ultimately did for them.

Unbeaten Bala are now up to second in the table, four points behind leaders The New Saints, who beat Aberystwyth 3-0 with goals from Declan McManus (2, 1 pen) and Ryan Astles.

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