Europa League: Prestatyn Town 1-2 Liepajas Metalurgs

Europa League

Prestatyn Town fell to a narrow defeat on their Europa League debut as ten-man Ljepajas Metalurgs secured victory in the first qualifying round first leg.

Jurgis Kalns gave the visitors the lead before Andy Parkinson levelled on the stroke of half-time for Prestatyn.

Metalurgs had Roberts Savalnieks sent off but Ilja Sadcins sealed their victory in the second half.

Prestatyn travel to Latvia for the second leg next Thursday.

Rhyl's Belle Vue, scene of Bala Town's win over Levadia Tallinn two days earlier, was again the venue for a Welsh side making their European debut.

Player-manager Neil Gibson started for the Welsh Cup winners, who also had new signing Lee Hunt leading the attack with former Tranmere Rovers striker Parkinson.

Parkinson failed to connect from close range with a Hunt cross before Metarlugs took the lead four minutes later through a Jurgis Kalns header following Valērijs Afanasjevs's cross.

Prestatyn grew into the game and put the Latvian defence under pressure during the last five minutes of the first half and they had a penalty appeal turned down when Hunt was brought down in the area.

But the hosts levelled on the stroke of half-time when Gibson and Davies combined to set up Hunt, whose back heel teed up Parkinson to score from 12 yards.

Metarlugs were reduced to ten men on 55 minutes when Savalnieks received a second yellow card for a two footed challenge on Davies.

But the visitors restored their lead seven minutes later when substitute Sadcins found the top right hand corner of the net with a shot from outside the box.

Prestatyn pressed for a second equaliser with Greg Stones heading narrowly over the crossbar in injury time.

Prestatyn Town player manager Neil Gibson:

"I thought the game was there for the taking. We probably gave them a little bit too much respect in the first 20 minutes or so.

"When they scored it almost stung us into action and I thought we were probably the better team for the rest of the game and we created a number of chances.

"[I'm] very, very disappointed in the two goals that we gave away.

"The effort and the attitude was absolutely superb and we really feel we can go over there and get a result and recover the tie."

Prestatyn Town: Roberts, Davies, Hayes, Hessey, Jack Lewis, Ross Stephens, Stones, Gibson, Mike Parker, Hunt, Parkinson.

Subs: Hill-Dunt, France, Kemp, Murray, Butler, Owen, Markland.

Liepajas Metalurgs: Varazinskis, Jemelins, Otankis, Kirilins, Zirnis, Slampe, Savalnieks, Afanasjevs, Hmizs,Prohorenkovs, Kalns.

Subs: Viksna, Ikaunieks, Sadcins.

Referee: Sven Bindels (Luxembourg)