Newtown 1

Bala Town 2

NEWTOWN’S season ended in controversy with a Europa League play-off semi-final defeat to Bala Town.

Latham Park was left incandescent with rage after referee Kevin Parry ruled out Nick Rushton’s deflected 81st minute strike, the second of the night the Llanfairpwll official had ruled out.

Despite Joe Kenton grabbing an 88th minute goal the damage had already been done as Bala held out to celebrate their place in the Europa League play-off final courtesy of goals from Kieran Smith and Henry Jones.

Newtown looked to have drawn first blood on 15 minutes with Callum Roberts picking out Rushton to convert only to be ruled offside.

Both sides pressed for a breakthrough with Mike Hayes testing home goalkeeper Dave Jones while Smith and Jones fired wide.

Rushton continued to provide Newtown’s chief threat and twice forced goalkeeper Keighan Jones into action.

However broke the deadlock just before the break with Andrew Burns’ cross glanced on by Chris Venables for Smith to net.

Newtown’s sluggish start to the second-half saw Hayes and Venables go close from distance before Jones headed home Sean Smith’s left wing cross to double their lead on 53 minutes.

Newtown were finally sparked into life and went close through Alex Fletcher who curled wide while the Robins laid siege to the Bala goal.

Bala continued to threaten on the break with Jones firing wide and Venables forcing Jones into a stunning save from 20 yards.

Latham Park was in uproar with 10 minutes remaining when Rushton’s deflected shot was ruled out by Parry after the assistant ruled the final touch had come off an offside Newtown player.

The remainder of the game was played under a cloud as Bala looked to waste time and see out the game while the home faithful aimed its ire at the officials before Kenton drilled home Neil Mitchell’s 88th minute cross to set-up a tense finale.

NEWTOWN: D Jones, Roberts, Mills-Evans, Denny, Mitchell, Rushton, Leslie (Boundford 57), Kenton, Hughes (Ahmadi 74), Williams, Fletcher. Subs: Perry, Phillips, Evans, Barnes.

Att - 424