(Cardiff Met won on penalties)

THERE was penalty heartbreak as Bala Town missed out on a spot in Europe.

There was devastation for the Lakesiders on Sunday evening as their UEFA Europa League hopes were cruelly dashed on penalties versus Cardiff Mat.

Town started well, with Henry Jones forcing visiting keeper Fuller to save his effort, before Chris Venables flicked a header wide of the post.

The visitors should have been ahead after 12 minutes when Roscrow got on the end of a superb Evans cross, but his header blasted against the post.

Midway through the half and Bala took the lead.

Nathan Burke’s looping cross was flicked on by Kieran Smith to Henry Jones, who fired in from close range.

However, this lead proved to be shortlived.

Just four minutes later, Cardiff Met broke quickly down the left through Will Evans who pulled the ball back into the area.

Keighan Jones parried this away, but the ball arrived into the path of Eliot Evans, who buried an effort into the net.

Bala responded with a scramble in the area, which Mike Hayes couldn’t capitalise on.

Kieran Smith almost added Town’s second goal before the break, but the chance went into the side netting after good play by Bala.

The second half opened up as the game became end-to-end, but there were not many clearcut chances.

Hayes set up Jones, but Fuller pushed the ball away, before the Cardiff Met keeper made a terrific stop to deny Smith from around 25 yards.

Chris Baker had a massive opportunity for the visitors when his header struck the crossbar before the full time whistle.

This meant that extra time was required.

Danny Gosset fired narrowly wide for Bala and then Hayes’ chance from the edge of the box soared over, prior to Met hitting the post through Baker.

Heavy legs were kicking in, but both defences were staying strong with Stephens’ low drive was pushed away before Bala had the two chances that could have changed everything.

They hit the crossbar twice in the same move in a massive scramble two minutes from time and the ball was eventually hacked away two.

The play-offs were to be decided by penalties and it was not to be for the Lakesiders.

Bala's first three penalties were missed and saved, with Met eventually winning 3-1.