ABERYSTWYTH Town offered reasons for optimism as they produced a spirited performance to secure a well-deserved 1-1 draw against Bala at Maes Tegid on Friday night.
The Cambrian News reported “Nathan Burke opened the scoring for the Lakesiders in the 28th minute, but Aber skipper Jonny Spittle equalised deep into stoppage time at the end of the first half.
Aber almost snatched all three points in the second period, and although the Seasiders remain winless in the league, there were positives for manager Neville Powell.
After showing signs of improvement in the home defeat to Bangor, unchanged Aber were initially unable to find any early rhythm as Bala imposed their high-pressing game.
On seven minutes, Bala winger Nathan Burke dragged a shot wide of goal, before Aber’s Declan Walker was then on hand to clear an effort off the line shortly afterwards
The Seasiders tried to get the ball down and pass it, but Bala, on the back of three successive league defeats, held the upper hand through their intensity and direct play.
On 19 minutes Geoff Kellaway made way for Mathew Jones due to injury, with the talented local youngster going to the left wing.
Bala made the breakthrough on 28 minutes when home goalkeeper Ashley Morris launched the ball downfield, and Nathan Burke set up Ian Sheridan, whose effort was well saved by Chris Mullock, only for Burke to put away the rebound.
Aber reacted well, with Ryan Wade, Mathew Jones, Joe Phillips and Luke Borrelli providing slick movement across the front line.
Both sides struggled to create clear-cut chances, and on 42 minutes there was a lengthy stoppage due to a nasty clash of heads with defender John McKenna and Ian Sheridan, with the Bala man having to be replaced by Mike Hayes.
The Aber centre half came out of it with a Terry Butcher-esque bandage wrapped around his head, but carried on for the rest of the game.
This led to five minutes of additional time being added on at the end of the first half, and deep into that stoppage time Aber equalised.
Cledan Davies whipped in a dangerous corner kick and Ashley Young rose highest to head the ball back in the six-yard box, where Jonny Spittle was on hand to hook the ball into the roof of the net.
Aberystwyth came out for the second half like a team possessed, and started on the front foot, with some free-flowing attacking play.
Luke Borrelli fired a shot over the bar, and on 51 minutes Joe Phillips forced a fine save from Ashley Morris as his left foot shot looked destined for the bottom corner.
Bala went close when Les Davies missed a good opportunity, and then Andrei Jones also got close to latching on to a good through ball.
As the game entered the final 30 minutes, however, Aber were on top, and striving for a winner.
Ryan Wade and Declan Walker headed good chances just over the bar, before Joe Phillips again came close with a long-range effort, after cutting inside with a weaving run.
At the other end, Burke and Hayes went close, and a 25 yard rocket by Jordan Evans whistled over, but as the game entered stoppage time, Borrelli latched on to a through ball from Declan Walker, only to be flagged offside, to the dismay of the vocal travelling supporters.
As the referee blew the full time whistle, Aber had to settle for a point, but there were some slightly disappointed faces in the visitors’ dressing room after the game.
On another night, Aber could so easily have taken all three points with them back down the A487, but it was another determined display by the Seasiders, who will hope to continue to find their rhythm.
BALA: A Morris, R Valentine, S Jones, S J Jones, E Horwood, D Thompson, N Burke, J Evans, I Sheridan (M Hayes 41’), A Jones, L Davies (G Rule 83’). Subs not used: C Vernon (gk), W Bell.
ABERYSTWYTH: C Mullock, D Walker, C Davies, J Spittle, R Wollacott, G Kellaway (M Jones 19’), L Borrelli, R Wade, A Young, J McKenna, J Phillips. Subs not used: C Hobson, J Rimmer, H Horwood, L Jenkins, L Doherty.
Attendance: 254 Referee: Rob Jenkins” here.