Bala Town in the hunt for Welsh Premier League 2nd spot

Reporter:

Shaun Davies

That was the message from team boss Colin Caton earlier this week as his Bala Town side aim to extend their impressive unbeaten run this weekend.

A trip to basement side Airbus UK Broughton is next up for Bala in the Dafabet Welsh Premier League on Saturday.

"We are just playing well," admitted Caton.

"I don't think we have lost for 10 games and we have won the last six on the bounce.

"The competition for places is good and the levels of performance are very good.

"We had a stuttery start to the season and people were criticising us.

"They didn't take account of the big injury list and we didn't play a home game for weeks.

"It's just people don't see that, but we are unbeaten at home now. There's a long way to go and people get carried away.

"I said judge us at Christmas and not in August or September."

It promises to be a fierce battle to secure the runners-up berth behind champions-elect The New Saints in the Welsh Premier League this season, with Gap Connah's Quay currently occupying second spot in the standings.

Bala are three points further back in the table, while Caton also expects Bangor City and Cardiff Met to challenge for the top-two following the mid-season split.

In further good news at Maes Tegid, the Dafabet Welsh Premier League last week announced that Bala Town striker Kieran Smith had won the November player of the month award.

The WPL stated: “Kieran Smith has been awarded the November player of the month prize following an impressive come back from injury during November for Bala Town.

"The Lakesiders' influential attacking midfielder has struggled this season due to injury but featured in three of their four matches assisting the club in their 100 per cent record during the month.

"Smith managed to notch two goals in their 4-0 at home against Aberystwyth Town, of which one is up for the November goal of the month shortlist.”

Caton said: "He has done great and he has played everywhere for me.

"In November, he played as a striker. He will play anywhere for us and he is a great lad for us.

"He is injured again and he will be out for the next four-or-five weeks."

As well as the league, Bala are also making an impact in this season's Welsh Cup and a 6-1 success over Caldicot Town booked the Lakesiders a spot in the last-16.

Looking back at the third round contest, Caton added: "We played really well.

"They were up for it and (goalkeeper) Ashley (Morris) made two good saves after they scored. They played in the right way. But the game was never in any doubt, even after they went ahead."

Bala will be at home to Penybont in the New Year in the last-16 and Caton said: "Rhys Griffiths is one of the record holders in the Welsh Premier League. He is really clued up... but they are a league below and it's a home draw, so you can't ask for more than that."

Kieran Smith is the only injury doubt ahead of this weekend's trip to Airbus UK Broughton. John Irving made a return to the Lakesiders' starting line-up for last weekend's Welsh Cup clash and he will be looking to get more minutes under his belt, while Ryan Wade will be available against his former club.

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