Honka (Finland) 2 - 0 City
Europa League 2nd qualifying round first leg 16 July 2009
Bangor City were left disappointed by losing 0 – 2 in their Europa League match against FC Honka of Finland, but Chairman Dilwyn Jones thinks that there is still plenty to play for in the return leg in Wrexham next Thursday.
“We certainly did enough to deserve an away goal, and we’ll be looking for an early strike at The Racecourse to bring us right back into this tie.”, said Jones.
Despite having much of the play, Honka had to settle with a single strike in each half. The first goal came on 15 minutes when Joel Perovuo reacted well to slot home a rebound after City keeper had made a great block.
Honka continued to threaten, but the City defence held firm, and as the half progressed, we started to claw back some of the initiative.
Chris Sharp went agonizingly close on the half hour after a mix-up in the home defence, whilst at the end of the first period, a succession of Bangor freekicks and corners put sustained pressure on the homesters, ended when a speculative effort from Chris Roberts went well wide.
Chances were few and far between in the second half, and City supporters must have hoped that they might be able to return to Wales nursing just a slim 0 – 1 deficit, but that was all changed in the 73rd minute as Rasmus Schuller took advantage of a precise square ball in the box to slot home coolly past Paul Smith.
Honka found gaps down the City flanks as we pushed forward in search of an elusive away goal, but were unable to turn possession into goals.
With seconds remaining, we had a fleeting opportunity however to bring something back from the tie when James Brewerton just failed to connect with a loose ball in the Honka goalmouth.
Despite the reversal, Dilwyn Jones is still confident that City has it in them to turn the match around.
“An early goal at Wrexham will give us the confidence to take this game by the scruff of the neck – and I really think we can turn things around.
I hope that North Wales football fans will turn out in their droves in Wrexham next Thursday to cheer us on to the next round of this exciting new competition.”
The second leg of this tie kicks off at 8.00 pm on Thursday 23 July, at The Racecourse, Wrexham.
Admission, which is by payment at the gate, will be 10.00 pounds (with concessions)