FROM Brymbo to Barry!

It's been an epic journey for Colin Caton during his time as manager of Bala Town and last weekend marked his 600th game in charge at Maes Tegid.

Caton's first game in charge of Bala came at Brymbo way back in 2003

"At the start of the season, we thought Barry could be the 600th game," admitted Caton.

Barry Town United boss Gavin Chesterfield made a presentation to Caton ahead of kick-off in recognition of the huge achievement and Caton added: "It was really nice.

"I get on well with Gavin Chesterfield and I was quite touched they went to that extreme."

On the playing front, Bala have announced their third signing of the January transfer window.

After spending the last 18 months in New Zealand, midfielder Rob Pearson has re-signed for the Lakesiders.

Pearson left the Lakesiders in March 2016 to sign for ASB Premiership side Tasman United.

Caton said: "Rob informed me in early December that he was coming home from New Zealand so it was something that we couldn't turn down.

"I rate Rob as one of the best midfielders that's ever played for Bala Town.

"We only have three recognised centre midfielders at the club after Anthony Stephens got injured, so he will add competition to that area as we always play with a midfield three."

Pearson will wear the number 16 shirt for the Lakesiders.

"Rob Pearson is a tremendous player," added Caton.

"Last time he was here some 18 months ago, he won the players' player and manager's player of the season awards.

"It shows what calibre of player he is.

"Rob's done really well over there and they didn't want him to leave."

New Zealand club Tasman United, where Pearson has been plying his trade, Tweeted: "In his short time here he was a legend. We are sad to see him go but wish him all the best."

Looking further ahead, Caton added: "We will get one more player before the end of January.

"Lewis Short and John Disney played at the weekend and we're down to the bare bones."

Bala's win over Barry Town United means they now have a real chance of achieving a top-two finish in the Welsh Premier League this season.

The Lakesiders, who are fourth in the standings, only trail second-placed Connah's Quay by two points heading into the final 10 games of the campaign.

Caton added: "We were 12 or 10 points behind at one stage.

"It will be difficult and it will be a good test, and everyone's under pressure to win games.

"Every game is like a massive cup final now.

"We were written off at the end of October, so we have put ourselves in a great position."