BALA Town’s re-scheduled fixture against The New Saints (TNS) ended in a draw once more as a point was enough for the Lakesiders to remain second in the JD Cymru Premier table.

The previous match between the two sides at Maes Tegid was called off due to floodlight failure in the 88th minute of the game on September 30.

The tie had been heading for a 2-2 draw, but the Football Association of Wales decided that the match would be replayed.

However, the outcome was the same again on Saturday, only with two less goals in the game. And Bala were much the better side for most of the encounter against The Saints, who remain unbeaten this season.

Colin Caton’s side came flying out of the blocks and were nearly ahead after just five minutes when Will Evans put a powerful ball across the box, but Bala skipper Chris Venables was unable to poke the ball home.

Moments later, another fine chance fell to Venables once more. This time, a corner put towards the near post saw the attacker’s effort go just wide of the post.

Next it was Ollie Shannon’s turn to have a go for Bala, but his effort on his weaker side was saved easily by Paul Harrison in the TNS goal.

Shannon had another fine chance soon after, but this time he saw his shot from a tight angle hit the outside of the post.

With 20 minutes gone in the tie, Bala must have been left wondering how they hadn’t take the lead yet.

Next to see a chance go begging was Evans who, after getting the ball from Shannon, saw his effort punched away by Harrison.

There were a lot of shouts for a penalty to TNS just before half time after attacker Louis Robles, who spent last season playing for Bala, went down in their box, but the referee waved it away.

Antony Kay then went close to breaking the deadlock for the home side as he swept the ball in from outside the box, but his half volley went away from the goal.

And so it was 0-0 at half-time, but plenty of chances had fallen already, particularly in the home side’s favour. You just had the feeling that this one couldn’t have ended goalless.

TNS almost took the lead immediately after the restart, but Adrian Cieslewicz’s shot rattled the crossbar.

Paul Harrison was then nearly caught out as he slipped as he got back to his line and Venables’ weak shot on goal almost crept in, but the goalkeeper managed to claw it into his arms.

Evans then hit the crossbar with what looked like a cross for Bala before and excellent dipping half volley towards goal from Kay nearly caught Harrison out with what would have been a spectacular goal had it gone in.

But despite such pressure from Bala, it was the visitors who struck first.

Denbighshire Free Press:

Venables and Clark (number 19) were the heroes for their respective clubs. PIC: Colin Ewart.

TNS substitute Ben Clark scored with his very first touch of the game on 70 minutes, chipping the ball over Alex Ramsey in the Bala net for his fourth goal of the season.

However, the lead didn’t last long for Scott Ruscoe’s side as, just five minutes later, Bala were back level. Bala substitute Lassana Mendes showed real composure down the right flank to whip in a cross which was met by the in-form Venables who headed home his eleventh goal of the 2020/21 campaign.

The only real chance to fall after that in the final ten minutes was when Anthony Stephens struck from range, but his effort clipped the top of the net.

A point apiece for both sides then as the Saints remain top of the table, five clear of Bala in second place.