THE Lakesiders were in seventh heaven to open their new campaign.

Bala Town kicked off the 2019/20 season in spectacular fashion with a superb team display in the second round of the Nathaniel MG Cars Cup against Gresford Athletic.

From the outset, Town set the standard and immediately applied pressure with some high intensity pressing which caught the visitors off guard and caused them problems.

The first chance fell to Louis Robles, who pulled a shot wide from 18 yards, prior to Steve Leslie firing an opportunity straight at goalkeeper Ben Jones.

Town’s early pressure paid off after 22 minutes.

Steve Leslie collected the ball and fired low in the bottom corner of the net from the edge of the area.

Bala doubled their lead five minutes later.

Sean Smith started a break down the left hand side and Gresford’s failure to clear saw the ball fall to Robles, who rocketed a strike past Jones.

Lee Molyneux, Mendes, Chris Venables and Leslie were linking up brilliantly and with Town keeping hold of the majority of possession, Gresford were having to defend hard as they tried to play out from the back, much to their credit.

Before the break, Athletic had a dangerous chance as a cross from the right switched over to the left wing to be delivered into the area, but Anthony Stephens cleared the threat.

The second half couldn’t have started any better for the Lakesiders, who scored immediately from the restart.

Robles added his second of the night when he buried his effort from the edge of the box.

It got even better for Town after 50 minutes as Venables smashed in from around 12 yards after more counter attacking play from Bala.

Even in the blustery conditions, both sides were looking to play across the floor, with Town taking more of a hold on the tie as it continued.

Stephens had a strike pushed away and Jones’ header from a corner was collected, before Burns and Molyneux also saw their opportunities go over the bar.

In the 65th minute, a debut hat-trick for Robles was secured when he powered the ball in from 13 yards.

A minute later and it was 6-0.

Lee Molyneux cracked a low drive into the bottom corner of the net from all of 35 yards.

Gresford weren’t done, however, as they had a superb chance to get a goal back, with former Denbigh striker Jake Eyre hitting the base of the post.

Following Leslie’s disallowed strike with a quarter-of-an-hour left, Bala earned their seventh as substitute Henry Jones was brought down in the box for a penalty, which he dispatched brilliantly into the top corner.