Aber Town suffered injury time heartbreak on Friday evening as Josh Ukek’s 95th minute strike won a topsy turvey game for Bala Town at Park Avenue.
Aberystwyth Town 2 Bala Town 3, JD Cymru Premier
Ukek had given the Lakesiders the lead eight minutes before the break, but Iwan Lewis equalised with a screamer on 45 minutes. George Newell put the visitors back in front 18 minutes from time, and Lewis was extremely unlucky to be shown a second yellow card five minutes later – but back came Aber’s 10 men with sub Luca Hogan equalising with a brilliant curler on 88 minutes, only for Ukek to snatch the points at the death.
The rainy conditions did not deter the pupils of Penrhyncoch and Penllwyn Schools from their mascot duties and it was a proud evening for the Pridmore family, with brothers Isaac and Reuben appearing on the bench for the Black and Greens.
The Seasiders started well with a series of corners and set pieces which were repelled by the visiting back four, before Ukek and John Malkin had shots blocked for Bala.
Steff Davies had a shot blocked and John Owen was showing some promising trickery down the left side, however chances were rare. Billy Kirkman saw a low shot saved and Louis Bradford fired over from a Jack Thorn long throw.
A downward header from Nathan Peate was caught comfortably by Dave Jones in Aber’s goal, then at the other end the best move of the game saw Kirkman curling in a right wing cross which Davies nodded on for Owen at the back post – but his effort from a tough angle went wide.
Then Ukek capitalised on a defensive mistake to lob Bala into a rather fortuitous lead, but just before the break Owen cut in from the left and set up Lewis who unleashed a howitzer which flew into the near post in front of a joyous Dias Stand, and Aber were deservedly level. Ukek nodded Iwan Roberts’ free kick over at the back stick but the half time stalemate was probably fair.
The game continued apace into the second half – Ukek’s low effort was easy for Jones, Owen went on another few swashbuckling runs for the hosts and sent in a dangerous cross shot which landed over the bar, then Aber somehow kept out Peate’s back post header, clearing it off the line at the last second.
Following a raft of substitutions a frantic last 20 ensued. Newell nicked into space on the right side and nicked the ball past Jones to regain the lead, Jones denied the lively Ukek again, then Lewis was harshly shown a second yellow card, and Aber looked up against it.
They hung on and survived some serious pressure, with Newell having a shot deflected over, and sub Luke Wall also being denied, then just before the 90 Kirkman went on a super run down the left and set up Hogan, who cut onto his right foot and curled in an exquisite equaliser from the edge of the area to surely steal a point. Alas however in the sixth of seven added minutes Naim Arsam sent in a hopeful cross which fell nicely for Ukek to win the contest and break Aber hearts.
So despite three encouraging home performances in six days Anthony Williams’ men come away with nothing and a feeling that Lady Luck has turned her back on the Seasiders.
Aber Town now will be glad of a rest period of 10 days until their next game when Cymru Premier Champions elect The New Saints visit Park Avenue on Tuesday, 28 November (ko 8pm).
Next up in the league for Bala will be the visit of Caernarfon Town to Maes Tegid on Wednesday, 29 November.