THE Lakesiders earned plenty of admirers as they secured a notable draw on Valentine’s Day.

Two changes were made to the Bala line-up ahead of their clash against The New Saints, with Steve Leslie and Ollie Shannon coming in.

It was a perfect start for the Lakesiders, who took an unexpected early lead.

A free kick was awarded after a hand ball on the edge of the box, which Henry Jones swung via a pinpoint delivery.

Aeron Edwards met it and headed the ball straight past Paul Harrison for an own goal.

As we expected, the visitors had long spells of pressure, with Adrian Cieslewicz having a go from distance, Jamie Mullan was blocked twice by Andy Burns and Spender’s cross was collected with ease by Josh Tibbetts.

Town’s back four was putting in a tremendous shift, with keeper Tibbetts rarely tested regardless of the amounts of possession claimed by the visitors.

Bala were looking a threat themselves on the counter thanks to Lassana Mendes and Kieran Smith, but the final balls into the box were just lacking.

The second half began with the Saints firing straight out of the blocks as they looked to get back on level terms and it didn’t take them long to do so.

On the hour, Shannon couldn’t get his arm out of the way quickly enough, which saw referee Dean John point to the spot for a penalty award.

Ryan Brobbel stepped up and blasted home from the spot to make it 1-1 with plenty to play for in the remaining half-an-hour.

The Saints almost went ahead minutes after the restart when Ebbe hit the post with a header, while Brobbel drove over the crossbar.

Bala were weathering the storm with Shannon, Stephens, Burns and Smith putting their bodies on the line and keeping the threatening Saints forward line at bay.

Things started to take a turn as Bala took confidence from their blocks and solid clearances to challenge back, causing problems of their own to the Saints' back four.

Sean Smith broke forward and dispatched Mullan off the ball to pick out an unmarked Kieran Smith, who rocketed a strike from 18 yards towards goal but Harrison made an excellent save to deny him.

Scott Ruscoe’s men were beginning to panic and Bala had another golden opportunity to sneak a winner as Mendes' outstanding work set up Hayes ten yards out, but he couldn’t get a clean strike on the ball and the chance went amiss in the closing stages.

Despite only having 31 per cent possession, it was an impressive defensive display and outstanding effort from the Lakesiders, who did exceptionally well against difficult opposition.