Chris Venables’ marvellous six-minute hat-trick sees Bala through to the last eight of the Welsh Cup!
Chris Venables scored a hat-trick in the space of six minutes to see the Lakesiders through to the quarter-finals of the Welsh Cup with a comfortable 3-1 away victory at Haverfordwest.
Following a first-half lacking in memorable moments, the game sprung into action quickly after the break thanks to the brilliance of Venables who scored a six-minute hat-trick to send Bala well on their way to the next round of the cup. Mason Jones-Thomas got one back for the hosts late on, to give them late hopeof springing a comeback, but it wasn’t to be as the Lakesiders comfortably secured their place in the hat for the next round.
Lots of chances for Bala early on
Having put six past the Bluebirds in our previous meeting last month, it was clear that the Lakesiders were confident of breaking down the hosts’ defence once more as Bala came out the blocks craving an early lead.
It took only two minutes for Bala to register our first shot on target, Venables leaping and heading goalwards from a cross, forcing Wojciech Gajda into a diving save. The early pressure continued as the Lakesiders had the Bluebirds on the back foot, Paul Rutherford causing them all sorts of problems down the right flank. The winger almost provided the opener when his cross went agonisingly over a couple of Bala heads and out for a corner.
It was then from a resulting corner that Bala had a shot cleared off the line by Kurtis Rees, leaving Colin Caton baffled as to how his side couldn’t convert several early chances.
First-half fizzles out with neither side looking too dangerous
Following a fast start by Bala, there was not much to report on past the opening exchanges, as the half fizzled out with both teams failing to produce an opener. The Lakesiders failingto capitalise on their fast start. Although the warning signs were there for all to see and Haverfordwest would have to remain wary in the second-half if they were to keep out Bala once more after the break.
Captain fantastic scores six-minute hat-trick
Following the break, Bala came out as they did in the first, with a high press looking to finally break down the hosts. Crosses were whipped into the area looking to find the opener and it was nearly produced when Nathan Peate’s header came off the woodwork twice, somehow not crossing the line as our luck appeared to be running short.
This was before the captain, Venables, stood up to the task and did what he has done so often for Bala and lead his side to victory. The striker breaking the deadlock when he headed on Leslie’sfree-kickto find the bottom corner and lift his side when they needed it most. It took only two minutes for Venables to grab his brace as Leslie this time attempted an effort on goal which was saved before reaching our captain at the back post to fire home our and his second. However, Venables was not done there, as he incredibly completed his hat-trick from yet another Leslie free-kick, as the captain was found free in the box to head home his third and complete an unbelievable six-minute hat-trick!
Jones-Thomas superb solo effort gives the Bluebirds hope
Despite the game appearing to be over in a matter of minutes thanks to the excellence of Venables, Haverfordwest refused to be beaten as they looked to inspire a comeback. Jones-Thomas gave his side hope of pulling off the impossible by getting one back with 15 minutes remaining. The winger cutting in from the left and unleashing a thunderous strike which came off the inside of the crossbar and past Harri Lloyd who could do nothing about it to give the hosts’ late hope.
Bala hold on to their lead to progress in the Welsh Cup
Despite the late threat of a comeback by the hosts, it wasn’t to be for the Bluebirds as the Lakesiders held on to ourtwo-goal advantage to progress through to the quarter-finals of the competition with a comfortable away victory at Bridge Meadow stadium. All the plaudits will go to Venables, and rightly so, as he added to his account in the Welsh Cup with a superb hat-trick to make it nine goals in the competition.
Bala will now await todiscover who will be next to face them in the quarter-finals on Monday, October 18th from 8pm when the draw will be broadcasted on FA Wales’ Facebook & YouTube channels.
A return to league action will be next for the Lakesiders with the arrival of Barry Town at Maes Tegid on Saturday, October 23rd with kick-off at 14:30pm.
Bala Town - Harri Lloyd, Oliver Southern, Nathan Peate, Anthony Stephens, Brad Bauress, Sean Smith, Kieran Smith, Steve Leslie, Paul Rutherford, Dave Edwards, Chris Venables.
Haverfordwest County – Wojciech Gajda, Elliot Scotcher, Alaric Jones, Ricky Watts, Jack Wilson, Ben Fawcett, Danny Williams, Dylan Rees, Kurtis Rees, Mason Jones-Thomas, Kyle Patten.
Bala Town – Ollie Shannon > Oliver Southern (70), Chris Sang > Dave Edwards (71), Danny Walker-Rice > Brad Bauress (88)
Haverfordwest County – Iori Humphreys > Alaric Jones (81)