AIRBUS UK BROUGHTON 4
BALA TOWN 1
A SERIOUS injury to goalkeeper Mark Pullman overshadowed the weekend action for Bala Town.
Travelling to Welsh Premier League Cup opponents Airbus UK Broughton for a first round first leg tie, Bala lost their Australian number one Pullman inside the opening 10 minutes.
Pullman was handed his first team debut in a much changed line-up, but having waited patiently all season to make his debut the unfortunate keeper only lasted a couple of minutes before sustaining a horrific looking head/neck injury when going down for a 50-50 ball with Airbus forward Craig Whitfield.
This challenge knocked Pullman unconscious for several minutes, but by the time the ambulance arrived he had regained consciousness.
The tie was delayed for the stopper to receive the necessary treatment and Bala wish to thank the Airbus club doctor and medical staff for their excellent care of a Bala player for the second consecutive match between the two clubs.
Pullman was made as comfortable as possible until the ambulance arrived to take him to the hospital.
Regular keeper Terry McCormick replaced Pullman between the sticks, however the drama continued on eight minutes.
McCormick brought down Eddie Hope in the box and the referee decided to send the Bala keeper off.
The visitors were faced with the surreal scenario of having to find a third goalkeeper and Mark Connolly bravely donned the number one jersey.
Unfortunately for Connolly, his first action saw him pick the ball out of the net as Mark Cadwallader scored from the spot.
Immediately following the goal, Bala manager Colin Caton make a tactical substitution, bringing off winger Stef Edwards and introducing holding midfielder Conall Murtagh in his place.
While this substitution was taking place, there was a further development when assistant referee John Swindley disappeared down the tunnel feeling unwell.
Things were delayed for a further few minutes while a replacement was found.
It was no surprise when Airbus scored a second before half-time as Cadwallader scored from a tight angle.
Chris Mason had two excellent opportunities to level the scoring when firstly he hit the base of the post from 20 yards and put another chance over the bar.
Bala’s injury woes continued in the second half with Danny Williams pulling up with a groin injury to be replaced by Stuart Jones.
A further two goals were added by Airbus during the second period through Glenn Rule and Gavin Cadwallader.
However, Bala are still just about in the tie after Mark Allen’s 75th minute own goal had them on the scoreboard.