Bala Town caused a major shock on their debut in European football by beating Estonian league leaders Levadia Tallinn 1-0 in Rhyl.

The Welsh part-timers won the first leg of their Europa League first qualifying round tie thanks to a third-minute strike by Ian Sheridan.

Levadia went close and piled on the pressure, but found Bala goalkeeper Ashley Morris in fine form.

The teams meet again for the second leg in Tallinn on Thursday, 11 July.

Bala, captained by former Wales and Wrexham midfielder Mark Jones, started as huge underdogs.

The Welsh team returned to training only two weeks ago, while their opponents are midway through their domestic season.

Bala Town's rapid rise

A decade ago, Bala were playing parks football in the Welsh National League (Wrexham Area) before they won promotion to the second-tier Cymru Alliance in 2004.

Progress on and off the field since promotion to the Welsh Premier League in 2009 has ended with the club taking part in European football for the first time in their history.

John Irving's late goal at Port Talbot in a play-off final in May secured victory and Bala's place in the Europa League.

Colin Caton's side made a dream start when they took the lead after only three minutes.

Striker Ian Sheridan pounced on the loose ball to fire in from close range following Kenny Lunt's corner.

Levadia grew into the game and Ilja Antonov fired over from 25 yards.

Rimo Hunt wasted a glorious chance to level when he headed wide from six yards following Andreas Raudsepp's cross.

Bala made it to half-time with their lead intact, and Jones had two chances to extend their advantage in the first five minutes of the second half.

He saw an effort from outside the box saved by Roman Smishko before firing wide from a similar position.

The goalkeeper then saved a Sheridan effort and Igor Subbotin shot over for Levadia.

The same player went close again as the Estonians pushed for an equaliser with Bala almost making them pay on the counter attack when Sheridan's shot was saved and Codling fired wide.

Antonov forced Bala goalkeeper Ashley Morris into a fine save before Artjom Artjunin drove a free kick wide of the left hand post.

With 10 minutes remaining Sheridan found himself through on goal, but Smishko saved his attempted chip.

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