|Matchreport: Round 6 - Saturday, 21 September 2013 - 15:45|
|The New Saints||vs||Bangor City|
|Match Date: Saturday, 21 September 2013|
|Match Time: 15:45|
|Attendances : 482|
|85||Rob Jones (Midfielder)|
|Iolo Hughes (Forward)|
|78||Sion Edwards (Midfielder)|
|Joe Culshaw (Midfielder)|
|73||Chris Jones (Midfielder)|
|John Littlemore (Forward)|
Defeat but not dishonour for Bangor due in no small part to an oustanding defensive display from summer signing Anthony Miley.
With Damien Allen again confined to a watching brief blues boss Nev Powell was happy to be able to include Chris Jones and Rob Jones in midfield with Les Davies working a lone shift upfront.
But the start was full of alarm as Lee Idzi's sliced clearance led to Sam Finley setting up Aeron Edwards who he sliced wide before Mike Wilde fired at Idzi from long range. Bangor were grateful for a stoppage on four minutes when Chris Roberts lay prone in his own box after a collison with Lee Idzi and Aeron Edwards whose high foot caused alarm.
Gradually after the restart City came into the game.
Lone striker Les Davies won a freeekick but Kai Edwards cleared for The Saints. However the gloves were off on 17 minutes when Rayn Fraughan crossed from the right and Mike Wilde headed home at the back post. Two minutes later the home side doubled the lead as Aeron Edwards controlled the ball on the right hand edge of the box and unleashed a fierce volley which crashed into the back of the net.
Given that City lost 3-0 and 6-0 at The Venue last season there was now more than a little concern in the visiting camp.
But Bangor worked hard to keep their shape and close down. Michael Johnston and Anthony Miley stood firm with midfielders Ryan Edwards and the hugely impressive Rob Jones in the thick of the action.
Both sides went close as half time drew close. Former Neath winger Chris Jones danced past a couple of Bangor defenders but sent his shot wide. Then Bangor won a freekick 25 yards out which Sion Edwards sent spinning low towards the bottom right hand corner but Paul Harrison scrambled the shot - and a follow up effort - away for his first meaningful involvement in the afternoon.
The half time whistle went with The New Saints leading two nil but with Bangor both buoyed and relieved by an improved showing in the final stages.
HALF TIME 2-0
No changes at the interval.
City were now attacking the Bangor Hill end, which now of course is now home to a small off centre stand.
But the first incident was a clash in the Bangor box and Sam Finley caught Michael Johnston with a flailing arm and provoked an angry response from the blues centreback. Oddly the linesman saw nothing.
The Saints threatened through Jones but Miley stepped in to snuff out the danger. Rob Jones was shown the yellow card whilst the officials allowed play to continue as the home side attacked despite two balls being on the pitch.
On the hour Les Davies who has battled gamely up front gathered the ball, span and sent a low shot a yard wide from the edge of the box. City forced a couple of corners and built up some pressure without directly threatening Harrison in the home goal. But it was the full timers who threatened through a break away which saw Lee Idzi save at Wilde's feet.
On 69 minutes a double substitution saw Jamie Mullen and Alex Darlington come on for Ryan Fraughan and Sam Finley whose temperament seems brittle at best. Two minutes later Bangor attacked Rob Jones long throw from the right and Chris Roberts headed wide with Chris Jones scrambling to get a touch. But seconds later The Saints broke and again Lee Idzi saved with his feet as Darlington threatened.
On 73 minutes young John Littlemore replaced Chris Jones who had worked hard in midfield before Ryan Edwards crossed from the left but Les Davies' header found Harrison well positioned at hsi near post. Lee Idzi saved again before Chris Jones shot on target but the Brecon glovesman held above his head.
With twelve minutes left Joe Culshaw replaced Sion Edwards and seven minutes further on Iolo Hughes came on for Rob Jones.
The home side threatened and once more Michael Johnston stepped in with a well timed challenge before Alex Darlington hit the post with a clean strike.
Referee Harrington added three minutes but they passed without incident and Bangor could reflect on an away defeat but a much improved second half - and compared to last season - a more disciplined and courageous display.