BALA Town got back to winning ways with a dominant win over high-flyers Flint under the Friday night (Nov 19) floodlights at Maes Tegid.
The Lakesiders led at the break following a controlled first-half performance thanks to Dave Edwards’ header just before half-time. It was then Ollie Shannon who added a quick-fire brace in the second-half to send them on their way to victory. Jack Kenny did get one back for Flint, but Bala held on to secure the three points.
The presence in the return of Antony Kay was clear as Bala dominated the early exchanges with Flint struggling to get a foot on the ball. It was the returning 39-year-old who had the first effort on goal when he was invited to take on a shot from distance, yet it lacked the power to beat Jonathan Rushton in net.
It was then Kieran Smith’s turn to test the Silkmen shot-stopper as he forced him into a brilliant save with his feet to keep the game deadlocked. Minutes later, Conor Harwood drove towards the Bala goal from near the halfway line on an impressive run with his shot forcing Alex Ramsay into an excellent save.
With half-time approaching, the Lakesiders had little to show for their first-half efforts. This was until Edwards broke the deadlock. The 35-year-old reading Brad Bauress’ corner perfectly to meet it at the front post and head it in off the woodwork.
The Lakesiders entered half-time with a well-deserved lead following a controlled performance which saw Flint struggle to get their target man Michael Wilde involved.
Flint looked more threatening following the break as they targeted a leveller. They went close to doing so not long into the half when Callum Bratley cut in onto his right foot and struck a dangerous effort at goal that was cleared away with claims of handball made against Anthony Stephens not given by the referee.
It was then Bala who had claims of a penalty when Sean Smith went down in the area, with the referee having none of it as he awarded a corner. It was from this corner that the Lakesiders doubled their advantage. Paul Rutherford playing the ball short to Shannon who fired in a powerful shot through a crowd of players and into the back of the net.
Minutes later, Shannon got his brace. High on confidence from his first, the Englishman made a darting run into the area, received the ball from Edwards, turned a Flint defender inside out and scored to make it a comfortable lead for the Lakesiders.
Unbelievably, Shannon nearly produced a ten-minute hat-trick, as the midfielder went agonisingly close with a shot that crept just wide of the far post only minutes after his second.
The Lakesiders were unable to produce a clean sheet as Kenny grabbed one back with little time to go. The workhorse gave the visitors late hope of pulling off a comeback when he was played through and rounded Ramsay to slot home to cut the deficit.
However, Bala defended their two-goal lead in the remaining minutes to secure a vital victory to get Bala back to winning-ways.
The win saw Bala move up to fourth temporarily as Saturday’s result saw them drop back down to fifth.
Up next for the Lakesiders will be the semi-final of the Nathaniel MG Cup as they take on Connah’s Quay Nomads, on Friday (Nov 26) at Maes Tegid, with kick-off at 19:45.