Kick off 14:30pm
We welcomed AFC Liverpool to Latham Park with very little knowledge of standard and how they would play. After the first 15 minutes it became clear they were a side who like to keep the ball moving and moved well off the ball. They had the best spell of possession in the early stages of the first half , however we were the first to get a goal. Ian Sheridan converted a tap in after Rushton looped a header back across the box on 20 minutes. The visitors then leveled on 27 minutes with a cracking goal from 25 yards out straight into Dave Jones’ top right corner.
Just before half time, AFC Liverpool extended their lead to make it 2-1 after a strong spell of possession and pressing. The second half started with a couple of changes with Sam Phillips replacing a Trialist and we started on the front foot and soon after equalized on 55 minutes with Ian Sheridan getting his second after Alex Fletcher feeds a well times through ball to Sheridan who slots home.
On 80 minutes, the visitors made it 2-3 from a corner.
The last 10 minutes was frantic and both sides struggled to keep possession until we equalized once more after Joe Kenton completed a mazy run past 3 defender and sets Sam Phillips up who calmly wins a 1v1 with the keeper.
We competed well in a hard fought friendly. Gresford Athletic came to Latham Park after a good result against last years Cymru Alliance Champions Airbus.
They managed to force an early goal after a disappointing mix-up at the back by us and were well placed for there lead. However, we dragged ourself back into the game by some intricate passing moves and began to dominate possession.
The equalizer came from a forceful run right at the heart of the defense by Joe Kenton. He left the Centre Back floundering before calmly slotting the ball past the oncoming keeper.
We welcomed a young Shrewsbury Town 11 managed my our very own assistant manager Callum Mckenzie for our second home pre-season game.
The game started with town attacking fluently and keeping the ball well. On 6 minutes George Harry converted a low cross from Nick Rushton. The second goal came on 36 minutes with Jack Kelly slotting one through the visiting keepers legs after we began to dominate possession in the closing stages of the first half.
The second half began as the first half ended with an early spell of possession and high tempo. Our third goal came on the 80 minute mark with Niall Flint floating a shot over the keeper into the top left corner.
It was Bala Town who gained a place in the Europa League play off place on Friday. The visitors won 1-2 as a fantastic season came to a close.
Report from Bala Town website:
Bala’s first real chance fell on seven minutes when they won a corner which Miley fired wide from close range at near post.
Pressure was being applied by the Lakesiders but Newtown were clearing their lines well and dealing with Bala’s attacking play. Town were looking dangerous on the attack with Gosset in the middle having a terrific game in his first game back after a loan spell at Cefn Druids.
Roberts picked out Rushton with 15 minutes on the clock but the goal was disallowed for the hosts due to Rushton being offside.
Hayes saw his shot saved by Jones prior to Kieran Smith’s 25 yard low drive zipping inches wide of the upright as the game opened up.
Down in the Town net, Keighan Jones made a superb save on 28 minutes to keep Rushton’s effort out before Bala went on the counter attack with Henry Jones striking the ball over the crossbar from around 10 yards out.
Jones was called into action once more with an excellent low reaction save with his feet to keep our another Rushton opportunity.
Five minutes before the break, Bala took the lead. Burns’ teasing ball into the area was headed on by Venables into the path of Smith who flicked the ball into the net and leading at the interval.
Early on in the second period, Town could easily have been further ahead after only minutes of the half when Mike Hayes shook off his marker and curled over the bar and then Venables attempting to lob the goalkeeper from 30 yards but the ball going over the woodwork.
With 53 minutes play, Bala doubled their tally. An attack down the left saw Sean Smith deliver a cracking ball into the area picking out Henry Jones who headed in Town’s second of the evening from seven yards.
However, Newtown came back into things and started to build up spells of pressure and forcing the Town backline to be at their best with Alex Fletcher curling around the post from the edge of the box in Newtown’s best chance.
Dave Jones was in action saving Henry Jones’ powerful effort after a counter attack with Smith then firing wide of the target from distance minutes later. Venables also saw his stunning volley from 20 yards pushed around the post as Town chased a third.
Newtown had the ball in the net on 81 minutes but yet again it was disallowed as Rushton’s powerful strike was deflected in off Ahmadi.
Two minutes from time, Newtown got their goal when Kenton drove the ball in low from 15 yards after the ball was flicked on by Mitchell.
A disappointing end to a a solid season where we finished in the top six after a few years missing out.
Newtown AFC concede their 3rd home league defeat of the season after Bala Town come from 2-1 down to win 2-3 on Good Friday.