WELSH PREMIER FOOTBALL

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NEWTOWN marked their return to Europe after a long absence with a notable victory over Valletta on a night of mixed fortunes for the Welsh clubs in the Europa League.

Luke Boundford fired the Robins in front five minutes before half time, but Brazilian Jhonnattann's equaliser looked to have secured a draw for the Maltese visitors.

Boundford had a goal ruled out after a foul on goalkeeper Nicky Vella and the visitors had skipper Ian Azzopardi sent-off five minutes from time, before Jason Oswell fired home the winner from close range in the first minute of stoppage time.

"If we'd have won by four or five I don't think anyone could have complained," said Newtown manager Chris Hughes.

Airbus UK Broughton also took a first-half lead against NK Lokomotiva of Croatia when Wayne Riley scored in the 28th-minute.

But, soon after the break, the impressive Damir Sovsic fired the visitors level, before goals from Mirko Maric and sub Marko Kolar made it 3-1.

Wingmakers' keeper James Coates saved a Sovsic penalty late on after a foul on Kolar by Matty McGinn but the scoreline still flattered the visitors.

"We were playing a top team from the Croatian Premier League. I'm really proud," said Airbus boss Andy Preece.

But he was unhappy at the way his side conceded the equaliser following a counter attack by the Croatians and wondered what might have been had Zagreb not scored from that move.

"It was just a lack of discipline. If we'd done our jobs they wouldn't have scored that first goal and from there who knows what might have happened?" he added.

Bala Town went down by the same 3-1 scoreline in Luxembourg to Differdange 03, who forged a two-goal lead within the first 15 minutes through Er Rafik and Caron.

Sinani added a third before Ian Sheridan helped limit the damage with a consolation effort before half-time.

Mike Hayes saw red late on after receiving two bookings in 11 minutes and Lakesiders' boss Colin Caton admits the chances of his side overturning the two goal deficit to go through are not looking good.

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24 March 2017

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