Harri Lloyd’s heroics in the shootout sees Bala progress in the Nathaniel MG Cup
The Lakesiders are through to the next round of the Nathaniel MG Cup thanks to Harri Lloyd’s heroics on penalties against Bangor City at the Nantporth Stadium.
Chris Venables almost gives us the perfect start
Following a tense opening few minutes between the sides battling for a place in the next round it was almost the Lakesiders that took the lead when Chris Venables was left unmarked inside the area to meet a Paul Rutherford cross, with his effort being matched with an excellent Lewis Brass save.
Bangor start to grow in confidence
The following ten minutes saw Bala create some half chances and bring the game to visitors, before Bangor looked to close out the half with some entertaining football. With the Citizens now a club heavily influenced by foreign culture, this was shown in their style of football, with the ball being moved from left to right with a quick tempo set to their game. It was Mello Corbellini who went closest to giving his side the lead when he was left free at the back post to strike a shot at goal, yet his effort was struck to the wrong side of the post as it hit the side netting.
All square at the break
The first half ended goalless with nothing much to report on in terms of chances for both sides, with Bala going the closest through our captain Venables.
The second half was as close as the first, with both sides unable to produce the final ball to cut open the opposition. Bangor did look the better side however, as they limited us to any chances. While the front three of Enzo Zicarelli, MelloCorbellini and IslaCorbellini caused chaos as they continued to push for an opener with the clock ticking down.
Enzo Zicarelli pushing the pace
It was Zicarelli who went closest to providing the magic required to break the deadlockwhen he flicked the ball past Oliver Southern, drove towards the Bala goal and shot just wide. Again, he continued to cause problems down the left flank as in the last minute he cut in on to his favoured right foot and directed his shot straight into the welcoming hands of Harri Lloyd as Bala survived some late pressure to take fate of both team’s campaign in the league cup to penalties.
Penalties calls for a hero…
First to take in the penalty shootout was the captain Chris Venables, who this time was unable to score from the spot as we are so used to seeing as Bala had the worst start possible to the shootout. This was before luck struck when the hosts were unable to take advantage when Corbellini hit the woodwork.
Following the early two misses from the spot, both sides found their shooting boots as every penalty was converted until Oliver Southern was unfortunate to see his penalty saved in sudden death at 7-7. The pressure was then on Harri Lloyd to keep Bala Town in the cup and give them another chance at progressing, and he did just that when he saved Jack Walsh’s penalty!
Nathan Peate was the tenth different penalty taker for the Lakesiders in the shootout, yet he dealt with the pressure to give Bala the advantage once more. Harri Lloyd was then given the opportunity to be the hero if he could stop Daniel Mullarkey’s penalty to send his side through, and he did exactly that as his save secured us a spot in the next round!
Back-to-back penalty shootout victories in the Nathaniel MG Cup for Bala as this time it was a different shot stopper who was the hero in Harri Lloyd!
The draw takes place tomorrow as the Lakesiders will find out our opponents for the fourth round.
Bangor City – Lewis Brass, Daniel Mullarkey, Tyler Garratt, Jack Walsh, Taylor Thain, Isla Cacciavillani, Mello Corbellini, Enzo Zicarelli, David Carty, Matanza Torres, Federico Tobler.
Bala Town –Harri Lloyd, Oliver Southern, Nathan Peate, Anthony Stephens, Ollie Shannon, Brad Bauress, Steve Leslie, Paul Rutherford, Chris Sang, Will Evans, Chris Venables.
Bangor City – Paul Edmonds > Taylor Thain (84)
Bala Town –Danny Walker-Rice > Chris Sang (66), Calum Woods > Steve Leslie (71), Lassana Mendes > Will Evans (71)
Scored – Bangor City: Matanza Torres, Enzo Zicarelli, Tyler Garratt, Isla Cacciavillani, David Carty, Paul Edmonds, Federico Tobler
Missed –Bangor City: Mello Corbellini, Jack Walsh, Daniel Mullarkey
Scored - Bala Town: Calum Woods, Bradley Bauress, Paul Rutherford, Lassana Mendes, Anthony Stephens, Ollie Shannon, Danny Walker-Rice, Nathan Peate
Missed - Bala Town: Chris Venables, Oliver Southern