CITY 2 - 4 LLANELLI
3 DECEMBER 2011
MIKE SMITH'S MATCH REPORT
Some dreadful defending undid any hopes of Welsh Cup progress as chief beneficiary Rhys Griffiths netted a hatrick.
And yet it all started brightly enough with a lead on 50 seconds. Kyle Wilson found his way past two or three Llanelli defenders to slide home from the right for his fifth goal of the season, at the Farrar End.
Scarce had blues fans fsettled down than the pattern of the afternoon emerged as Lee Surman rose to head home from eight yards with the home defence caught napping. The deafening silence that followed was broken only by the visitors bench. Llanelli might have gone ahead moments later when their first corner dropped to the lanky Chris Venables but he scooped over.
In the following half hour City played some of their best football of the season. Peter Hoy prominent on one move down the right, a cross to Sion Edwards whose shot was blocked and Dave Morley fired over. Craig Williams raced clear on the left but dragged his shot across goal. On 18 minutes City deservedly regained the lead. Kyle Wilson flicked on to Les Davies who clipped the ball over Lewis and stooped to head home from close range for his eighth of the season.
In the moments that followed Craig Williams berated linesman Eddie King - a Denis Irwin doppelganger - and was yellow carded for his remarks. Kyle Wilson, outstanding in the first period, crossed from the right but Sion Edwards' first time effort was too close to Lewis. On 25 minutes the roles were reversed as Edwards crossed from the left but Wilson fired narrowly wide. The platform for Bangor's dominance was in midfield where flame haired Neil Thomas was busying himself with tackles and interceptions alongside Dave Morley and Craig Garside. The ever present bad feeling from rightback Kris Thomas towards Sion Edwards surfaced in a wild lunge on the winger which referee Whitby did not punish. On the half hour another impressive move involving Les Davies and Dave Morley resulted in a cross which The Truck headed just over and into the Farrar End. City won a second corner but minutes later Peter Hoy was rightly carded for a mistimed tackle on left back Lloyd Grist.
The tide started to turn on 37 minutes when Michael Johnston was adjudged to have fouled Chris Venables. Penalty and lengthy treatment needed on the former Tranmere defender. There were 40 minutes gone when Rhys Griffiths converted the spot kick to level the scores, albeit against the run of play. With three minutes left Kyle Wilson ran in on goal but cleared the crossbar with his attempted chip as Lewis rushed out. Peter Hoy sent in a couple of long throws, the second of which led to penalty shouts for handball, but nothing doing. A soft freekick award by Mr Whitby on half way delivered by Jason Bowen and headed home by Rhys Griffiths for a unexpected 2-3 half time scoreline which was harsh in the extreme.
HALF TIME 2-3
No changes at the interfal with Bangor now attacking the St Pauls End, aided by a slight breeze.
Immediately Sion Edwards set off after a ball down the left, was caught in the face by an elbow from rightback Thomas, again no punishment from Mr Whitby who - on another day - might have sent the narcistic defender for an early bath. Seven minutes after the interval Craig Williams, once of TNS, raced clear down the left but fired wide. City won a third corner of the afternoon which Neil Thomas crossed but Les Davies headed against the bar. Then Sion Edwards crossed low from close to the left corner flag, Les Davies gathered, span and shot in a split second but Lewis saved well at his near post.
But any grounds for optimism evaporated on the hour. Bowen crossed low to Rhys Griffiths who had time and space to pick a spot on the net and place the ball beyond a helpless Lee Idzi. Former Newtown left back Martyn Giles then replaced the impish Bowen on 63 minutes. Eddie Jebb came on for a hobbling Michael Johnston five minutes later. On 73 Mike Walsh came on for Neil Thomas and then Chad Bond wandered on in place of the gangly Craig Williams.
With that interruption out of the way, City fans contemplated an unlikely fightback. City won a fifth corner Craig Garside and then Les Davies went close with headers, but without affecting the score. Antonio Corbiesiero shot on target from the right as Llanelli maintained their threat and forced a fourth corner which Idzi collected. Moments later Lewis rose highest to catch a sixth Bangor corner. It was Lewis' tedious timewasting that angered City fans but eventually went unheeded.
With then minutes left Les Davies and Sion Edwards fired goalwards at the base of the lefthand post but Stuart Jones hacked off the line - and that just about it. There was still time for the industrious Edwards to cross deep from the left but Jamie Brewerton, who defied injury to start the match, headed wide.
Three minutes of added time, despite four subs and endless timewasting, but in fairness it would probably not have changed things that much. Of course thanks to Mr Whitby we will never know.
So City exit the Welsh Cup at the first hurdle, every previous season under Nev Powell - all four of them - have resulted in Final appearances. Cant win 'em all..
3 December 2011