Bala Town boss aims to shut up shop


Shaun Davies

As a former centre back, it's understandable that Bala Town boss Colin Caton despises conceding goals.

However, his task at present is to try and sort out the Lakesiders' leaky Welsh Premier League defence as Bala look to extend their unbeaten run.

Caton's charges are currently undefeated in five matches and this run has seen them climb up to fourth in the standings.

While scoring goals hasn't been a problem for Bala over recent weeks, there are concerns with the amount they are conceding at the other end of the pitch.

They have shipped 17 goals in their last seven matches, while Bala have conceded nine in their last three games.

"It's not good conceding," said Caton.

"But the lads know they will work on that.

"I hate it (conceding goals) and we will work on it in training.

"The goals we have conceded, we will stop letting them in."

Despite the amount of goals Bala have been shipping, Caton admitted: "We have played really well in the last five games.

"We have been behind in the last three games, and we have drawn two and won one.

"It just shows the spirit in the team."

Mike Hayes has been in fine form up front for the Lakesiders this season and he has bagged a magnificent seven goals so far in the Welsh Premier League.

A squad player for much of his time at Maes Tegid, Hayes is now an integral member of the starting line-up.

"Mike's really fit, athletic and a strong lad," added Caton.

"The difference is this time he has taken his chances."

On the back of a blistering start to the campaign from The New Saints, everyone else is playing for a runners-up finish this season, admitted Caton.

The defending champions are a mammoth 15 points clear at the top after winning all of their 13 matches so far this season.

"TNS are out on their own.

"You have got to give them credit for what they are doing.

"It's second and third we're all playing for and the league title is gone," added Caton.

Currently in fourth spot, Bala have had a testing first 13 matches to the season, with two games against The New Saints and third-placed Bangor City, while they have also travelled to second-placed Gap Connah's Quay.

"We have done really well with the circumstances we have been under," said the Bala boss.

This has included a lengthy injury list earlier in the season and a delay in Bala returning to action at their Maes Tegid home with the laying of the new 3G pitch.

Bala's injury list is now greatly reduced, with Lee Hunt, Lee Owens and John Irving unavailable at present, while the club's new pitch is turning out to be a great draw for people in the locality.

"The pitch is very good and I think the club is having 180 people a night on it," added Caton.

"That's fantastic for the community.

"It's bedding in now... and it's just refreshing to see the community out playing on it."

Next up for the Lakesiders is a key top-six meeting with newcomers Cardiff Met, who lie fifth in their first season at Welsh Premier League level.

"Cardiff Met have done exceptionally well, but people don't realise they're a full time team.

"They get eight hours a week on preparation for the game, but we will only have one hour and 20 minutes to prepare.

"It's difficult and it will be a good test for us and a good test for them."

See full story in the Free Press

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