NEWTOWN endured a nightmare start to the campaign at Bala Town on Friday night.

Two goals in as many minutes midway through the first-half undermined any hopes of a winning start to the season.

Bala began brightly with Mike Hayes and Evan Horwood firing wide before the breakthrough on 29 minutes

Chris Venables burst through the Robins defence to latch onto Jordan Evans’ throughball and comfortably slot past Dave Jones.

Two minutes later the Lakesiders doubled their lead with Horwood whipping an unstoppable free-kick beyond Jones.

Newtown had chances to claw themselves back into the game as Luke Boundford’s right wing cross was met by Nick Rushton on the far post, forcing goalkeeper Ashley Morris into action and seconds later a looping Boundford header dipped over the bar.

Newtown had their backs to the wall in the second-half with a Mike Hayes header cleared off the line by Leon Clowes.

Ryan Kershaw and Rushton fired wide before Bala sealed victory on 66 minutes with Hayes finally netting the goal he had threatened all evening.

Newtown’s nightmare opening night was complete when Clowes earned a second caution and dismissed in injury time.

NEWTOWN: Jones, Williams, Mills-Evans, Clowes, Price, Kershaw (Cartwright), Goodwin, Denny, Boundford (Murphy), Rushton (Mitchell), Reed. Subs: Perry, Litchfield, Evans.

Att: 343