BALA Town took a big step forward to securing a third place finish with a hard-fought win against Connah’s Quay Nomads last night.

Bala Town 1 Connah’s Quay Nomads 0, JD Cymru Premier Championship

George Newell’s second-half penalty was the difference between the two sides at the end, continuing his rich vein of form with his sixth goal in three outings.

Bala boss Colin Caton was delighted with his team’s performance: “Since the split we’ve been absolutely outstanding and outstanding as a group to get to the split.

“But tonight we were resilient, there are a lot of big games in the league where there is not much in it but we fought and we found a way to win it.”

He added: “They (Connah’s Quay) have more or less cemented second place so we’re just trying to get as high as we can.

“Third place is going to be crucial in this league with the Welsh Cup and stuff.

“But Cardiff Met could have a big say in it as well; if they win the Welsh Cup then they’ll automatically qualify.

“I think there’s 10 point between us and Connah’s Quay now which is a big ask for us to try and get in but never say never and every game we keep focusing on.

“The Caernarfon game here next week, they’ve had a great win against Newtown, that’s another massive game for everybody involved with the top six next week here.”

It was a pretty uneventful start to proceedings with neither team having a clear-cut effort on goal.

Newell then attempted to unleash a shot after receiving the ball inside the box from Josh Solomon-Davies, but his effort was diverted for a corner.

The Town were looking dangerous from set pieces, making the visitors work to defend every corner as they piled pressure on visiting goalkeeper Andy Firth.

And as the half drew to a close, Newell rose highest to meet a cross from the left, but got underneath the ball and headed over the bar whilst, at the other end, Bala keeper Kelland Absalom rushed out to meet Harry Franklin to turn his shot around the post for a corner.

Town had an early second half shout for a penalty waved away when Ben Nash appeared to have brought down Newell, but the referee did point to the spot on 54 minutes when Osebi Abadaki was upended in the area.

Up stepped Newell with a cool finish into the bottom right corner after sending Firth the wrong way.

It was a stop-start affair after the break with Nomads failing to find their rhythm.

But they nearly equalised when Nash headed wide following Josh Williams’ deep corner from the left before Noah Edwards’ late grasscutter was easily gathered by Absalom.