A RETURN to Maes Tegid saw a return to the top six for the Lakesiders as Will Evans’ first-half effort was enough for victory against Newtown.

Evans opened the scoring on the stroke of half-time to help Bala on their way to their first victory of 2022.

In a game of little chances for either side, Newtown struggled to break down the Bala backline as the Lakesiders held on with a disciplined second-half performance.

Bala were nearly off to the most perfect start when Lassana Mendes was played through one-on-one two minutes into proceedings. But he couldn’t give his effort enough lift to beat the approaching Dave Jones.

It was then Newtown who had an opportunity at scoring the opener when Aaron Williams rose to head the ball towards goal, but instead, his effort went over the bar.

The Lakesiders continued to look most likely to break the deadlock as they looked dangerous with every attack. Oliver Southern provided a fantastic opportunity for Ollie Shannon to do exactly that with just over thirty minutes gone, but Jones managed to deny him with an impressive save.

It was then Shannon again who saw his effort saved by Jones when the midfielder managed to burst into the area and unleash an attempt that was straight down the goalkeeper’s throat.

With his first opportunity of the game, Evans produced a wonderful finish to give the home side a deserved lead. Kieran Smith provided the assist with his cushioned header for Evans to blast home on an angle just before the half-time whistle.

Having taken the lead just before the break, there was a lot of pressure on the Lakesiders to put in a professional second-half performance to make the most of their lead. The Robins did up their tempo in an effort to bring the scores back level but struggled however to break down the Bala back four.

Several stoppages occurred amongst injuries – one of which saw Dave Edwards leave the field – with Bala players giving everything on the field for the three points.

It looked as if the Lakesiders were soon to be awarded once more for their hard work when Shannon slotted the ball home following some neat build-up play. However, the linesman’s flag was up to spoil the party.

The Lakesiders managed to hold on to their slender lead to secure a much-needed victory displaying great character amongst a gritty second-half performance.

Bala climb into the top six in fifth position while gaining three points on their opposition as they now sit only four points behind Newtown in second.