Top-six hopes are still alive for Bala


Shaun Davies

BALA Town boss Colin Caton isn’t giving up on making the top-six in the Welsh Premier League just yet.

A run of six matches without a win has seen the Lakesiders slip to 10th in the league standings, but there is still a slim chance that Bala could make the top half-dozen come the mid-season split.

They are currently four points behind sixth placed Carmarthen Town with two games left to play and Bala need to win their next two games to stand a chance of overhauling the Old Gold.

“Mathematically we can still get there,” said Caton.

The Bala boss insists his players will keep going until it’s mathematically impossible and he added: “It’s been a bizarre league this season.

“TNS have been dropping points and it shows just how tough the league is.”

A run of six wins from eight matches had seen Bala climb up to fifth in the league standings in early November and they looked well set to achieve a top-six finish.

But they haven’t won in the league since edging out basement side Afan Lido 3-2 on November 18.

Since then Bala have picked up just two points from a possible 18.

Nothing less than a win will do for Bala Town on Friday night, but that will be a tough ask from their home Gwynedd derby with title-chasing Bangor City.

“Bangor always bring a massive following and it’s always a good atmosphere when they come,” added Caton.

“It’s the most attractive feature in the Welsh Premier.”

As far as Bala are concerned, there have been a few personnel changes of late.
Defender Mike Byron has left Maes Tegid after spending 18 months with the club.

The 25-year-old centre half, who joined from Northwich Victoria during the 2011 summer transfer window, made 44 appearances for the club, scoring one goal.

“We wish Mike all the best for the future and thank him for his services to the club,” said a Bala spokesman.

Meanwhile, Bala have confirmed that Mike Thompson has rejoined the Lakesiders, moving from Gap Connah’s Quay.

Thompson initially signed for Bala in January 2010 following spells with Cefn Druids, Welshpool and Mond Rangers.

During the current campaign, he’s made 17 appearances in all competitions, scoring a couple of goals in the process.

Although Town still have the top-six in their sights, they’re also worryingly close to the Welsh Premier League’s relegation zone.

Second-from-bottom Aberystwyth Town are level with Bala on 23 points, although the Maes Tegid outfit have a far superior goal difference.

Scoring goals has been Bala’s main problem over the course of the season and Caton admitted: “It’s been a case of missed opportunities all season.

“Goals change games, but strikers don’t try and miss on purpose.

“There’s nobody we can bring in and we are happy with the squad.”

Looking ahead to the big Friday night meeting with Nev Powell’s Bangor, full back John Irving is definitely out as he serves the first of a three-match suspension.

Top scorer Lee Hunt is only rated as a 50-50 shot for the game after he sustained ankle ligament damage during last weekend’s defeat at Port Talbot Town.

Kick off at Maes Tegid on Friday is 7.30pm.

See full story in the Free Press

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