Backs to the wall Bala keep TNS at bay
THE New Saints failed to take advantage of Rhyl's defeat at Neath as they dropped two home points to newly-promoted Bala Town in a goal-less draw.
Keeper Leon Bimpson was the Lakesiders' hero with three stunning late saves to deny Steve Abbott, Jamie Wood and a Tommy Holmes header as the Saints pressed a tiring defence for a late winner.
The Bala defence had held firm throughout with Scott Ruscoe waging a one-man war on Bimpson in the first-half.
The midfielder tried his luck four times with shots from outside the box, three of which whistled narrowly wide of the target and the fourth was parried by Bimpson.
Steve Abbott had earlier just failed to get on the end of a Craig Jones cross and Aeron Edwards sent an overhead kick over the bar from a Jones head down.
Matthew Berkeley also went close to opening the Saints' account from a Tommy Holmes cross.
Chris Seargeant fired over early in the second-half, with Phil Baker heading wide from Ruscoe's cross.
The introduction of Ryan Marriott from the bench pepped-up the Saints' attack, but he was guilty of a glaring miss in front of goal after good work by Wood and Aeron Edwards.
Bala threatened on the break as early as the first-minute, with keeper Paul Harrison tipping a Stuart Hayes shot away for a corner.
In the second-half, Harrison saved well from Osian Jones and had to be alert late-on to prevent John Toner from celebrating his return to Park Hall with a shock winner.