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Play-offs are realistic bid insists Caton.


Prestatyn Town 1 Bala Town 2 BALA boss Colin Caton believes his team are more than capable of repeating last season''s feat of finishing top of the Welsh Premier Play-Off Conference.

Saturday''s 2-1 victory at Bastion Gardens put the Lakesiders six points behind seventh-placed Aberystwyth Town with a game in hand and nine matches still remaining.

Last term Bala went on a 13-match unbeaten run in the second phase to qualify for Europe for the first time in the club''s history via the play-offs.

We''re in a similar position to where we were this time last season,said Caton.

With the quality of the squad we''ve got I believe we''re capable of catching Aberystwyth and finishing seventh again.

Boss Colin Caton Despite having not played a league match for seven weeks. the visitors were soon into their stride on Saturday, Mark Jones striking a powerful shot just off target.

Prestatyn had a chance in the seventh minute when Greg Stones' ' guiding header set up Chris Hartland, who made a poor connection and saw the ball roll narrowly wide.

Bala were making the most of the strong wind, however, Sean Thornton''s vicious free-kick being tipped over by Jon Hill-Dunt.

In the 15th minute the visitors took the lead when Ryan Valentine''s wicked whipped effort into the box bounced beyond Hill-Dunt and into the net.

Prestatyn responded well and on 29 minutes levelled with a goal of the highest quality.

Lee Hunt showed outrageous skill to free Chris Davies down the right, his low cross into the box was dummied and Gareth Wilson lashed in a beauty from 15 yards.

Bala finished the half on the attack, Jack Lewis' ' last-gasp defensive header denying Ian Sheridan before Mark Connolly''s fierce free kick was brilliantly pushed away by Hill-Dunt.

Bala's Sean Thornton After the interval Prestatyn were soon on the front foot, Michael Parker''s back-heel finding Hunt, whose shot was deflected wide.

Stones'' close-range header from a James Stead corner then landed agonisingly on top of the net.

Connolly was thwarted by another timely Lewis block before Bala were awarded a 69th minute penalty.

The decision seemed harsh on Prestatyn to say the least when Kieran Smith, with his back to goal, went to ground and referee Bryn Markham-Jones, who made a series of baffling calls all afternoon, pointed to the spot.

is challenged Sheridan made no mistake and Bala were back in front.

Prestatyn tried to rally, but did not work keeper Ashley Morris enough, although he was forced into one great save from Hartland when he met a low Hunt delivery.

Bala continued to be dangerous on the break and looked every bit as likely to score a third as Prestatyn did to get an equaliser.

As it was there were no more goals and the visitors took the points.

Caton added: I felt we dominated the game for the most part. Apart from that one great stop from Ashley in the second half he didn''t have a shot to save, while we created several chances and Hill-Dunt had to produce a few good saves.

PRESTATYN: Hill-Dunt, Davies, J Lewis, Holmes (Hayes 87), Stones, R Owen (Hessey 73), Hartland (Murray 78), Wilson, Parker, Hunt, Stead.

Bala: Morris, S Jones, Valentine, Davies, Murtagh, Connolly, M Jones, Thornton (Lunt 65), Brown (Collins 81), Sheridan, Smith (Mason 90). Att: 305.


Boss Colin Caton

Bala's Sean Thornton is challenged

Lee Hunt (above) is challenged by Bala's Stuart Jones and Ashley Morris; Ian Sheridan scores (below)
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Publication:Daily Post (Conwy, Wales)
Date:Mar 10, 2014
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