Europa League: Bala Town 1-0 Tre Fiori (Agg 1-3)

Bala finished fourth in the Welsh Premier League last season

Bala Town bowed out of the Europa League despite a 1-0 win over Tre Fiori in the preliminary round second leg.

Trailing 3-0 from the first leg, Bala had plenty of possession and showed plenty of endeavour.

Despite that, the Welsh Premier League side had to wait until Nathan Burke's 76th-minute goal for a breakthrough.

But Colin Caton's side could not find the two goals needed to take the game into extra time against their visitors from San Marino.

Tre Fiori's aggregate victory meant they became the first team from San Marino to win a European tie and they will now face NK Rudar Velenje of Slovenia in the first qualifying round.

Manager Caton said his players had been angered by their first-leg performance and were capable of turning the tie around.

Colin Caton
Colin Caton is the longest-serving club manager in the Welsh Premier League

The Lakesiders made a purposeful start and Ian Sheridan had an early opportunity, only to put the ball wide of the post.

Tre Fiori could have put the tie further beyond Bala's reach with Mirco Vassallo denied by Ashley Morris before the striker fired the rebound across the face of goal.

The hosts continued to push forward and captain Chris Venables went the closest for Bala during a goalless first half, shooting wide from a tight angle.

Bala continued in search of the opening goal after the interval but Tre Fiori at times had up to 10 men behind the ball to restrict their opportunities.

Venables hit a 25-yard free kick over the crossbar and substitute Steve Tames headed agonisingly wide from a corner.

Their efforts were rewarded when Burke netted from close range with 14 minutes remaining to set up a frantic finish.

Tames had the ball in the back of the net but his effort was ruled offside and despite late pressure Bala could not find two more goals, the damage having already been done in the first leg.

Bala manager Colin Caton told BBC Wales Sport: "We haven't lost the tie because of tonight's performance, I thought tonight's performance was very good.

"There was lots of endeavour and commitment and it was faultless. We could have been better in the final third with our final ball.

"They've come and camped in and have done a job on us. But it wasn't tonight we lost the tie, it was over there with two massive individual errors."

Bala Town: Morris, Burns, Stuart Jones, Miley, Sean Smith, Kieran Smith, Pearson, Burke, Sheridan, Mangan, Venables. Subs: Charles, Stuart J Jones, Tames, Horwood, Valentine, Josh Jones.

Tre Fiori: Pizzolato, Bologna, Ghetti, Filippi, Andreini, Pasolini, Acquarelli, Tamagnini, Teodorani, Vassallo, Succi. Subs: Broccoli, Della Valle, Simone Matteoni, Caforio, Sossio, Marinaro, Magnani.

Referee: Kristoffer Hagenes (Norway).

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