Dean Ebbe continued his fine form as he scored a brace in Bala’s 2-1 win over Aberystwyth at Maes Tegid which saw us reach the last four of the Welsh Cup.
A dull opening was followed by a frantic ending which saw the Lakesiders almost throw away a two-goal lead for consecutive weeks bar some heroic defending. Ebbe scored on the stroke of the half-time to give us the lead at the break. He then scored just past the hour mark to double our advantage and set us on our way to the semi-finals.
Alex Ramsay pulled off a wonder save to tip Jonathan Evans’ effort over the bar before Harry Franklin eventually gave his side late hope of a comeback from a stunning strike. However, the Lakesiders hung on to clinch our place in the semi-finals with another historic year in the Welsh Cup potentially on the horizon.
Emphatic Ebbe at it again
As expected in a game with the cup runs of both sides on the line, the match started off passivewith neither side willing to take risks in search of an early opener. It took around twenty minutes for the Lakesiders to receive our first chance of the game when Ebbe headed the ball back across goal for Kay to unleash an effort on goal which was blocked by a defender.
It was then Ebbe who continued his fine run of scoring since joining the club with another goal. This being the easiest of the lot. Ollie Shannon’s looping effort coming off the bar for the striker to simply head home from two yards out and give us the lead heading into the break on the back of a half with little action at both ends.
Ebbe at the double
The next real opportunity for Balafell to Ebbe once more and again there was no question with the finish as he hammered home his second to double our advantage. The TNS loaneerunning in behind the Seasiders defence and firing the ball underneath the goalkeeper to prove his worth with another priceless goal at MaesTegid.
Ramsay pulls off a sublime save
Aberystwyth then threw everything at Bala in hope of finding a route back into the match. Evans looked destined to be bringing the visitors right back into the mix from a header, but an action shot save by Ramsay unbelievably denied him. Evans had his head in his hands as he couldn’t believe how his header hadn’t brought his side back into proceedings.
Moments later, the Seasiders were in utter disbelief once more.This time it was Kay who denied them a goal. The veteran clearing the ball off the line from John Owen’s deflected effort to preserve the Lakesiders’ two-goal lead.
Franklin’s fine finish
Aberystwyth started to question what it would take to beat the Bala backline and find a lifeline for their Welsh Cup run. Franklin provided that lifeline when he struck a sweet volley that beat Ramsay both for power and pace as it flew into the back of the net. A sensational strike to get Aberystwyth right back into the game with little under ten minutes remaining.
Lakesiders hold out for final four appearance
Evans looked to avenge his missed opportunity from close range with an equaliser straight from kick-off but was once again denied by Ramsay as we closed in on the last four in the competition.
Will Evans looked to get his name on the scoresheet in the final minute with a late effort at Alexander Pennock, but he was denied. However, Ebbe’s brace was enough in the end to edge our way into the semi-finals.
Aberystwyth Town return to Maes Tegid next week to take us on in the final game of phase one on Saturday, February 26th with kick-off at a slightly early time of 12:45pm.
Bala Town - Alex Ramsay, Oliver Southern, Antony Kay, Nathan Peate, Sean Smith, Lassana Mendes, Kieran Smith, Will Evans, Ollie Shannon, Dave Edwards, Dean Ebbe
Aberystwyth Town – Alexander Pinnock, Jack Rimmer, Rhys Davies, Louis Bradford, Lee Jenkins, Jack Thorn, Mathew Jones, John Owen, Harry Franklin, Sam Phillips, Alex Darlington
Bala Town – Calum Woods > Oliver Southern (59), Paul Rutherford > Lassana Mendes (81)
Aberystwyth Town – Jamie Veale > Alex Darlington (56), Jonathan Evans > Sam Phillips (59), Ben Wynne > Rhys Davies (72)