|Matchreport: Round 21 - Saturday, 04 January 2014 - 14:30|
|Bangor City||vs||The New Saints|
|Match Date: Saturday, 04 January 2014|
|Match Time: 14:30|
|69||Jamie Petrie (Forward)|
|Jamie McDaid (Forward)|
After perhaps showing their full time visitors too much respect in the first half Bangor fought back to make a real game of it in the second.
With Anthony Miley suspended Bangor gave Gerwyn Jones a debut alongside Michael Johnston at the heart of the blues defence. The 22 year old barely put a foot wrong in an impressive display against dangerous opposition.
The opening ten minutes were cagey as The New Saints dominated possession without testing the new look blues defence. The green hoops won a couple of early corners which Lee Idzi dealt with calmly.
It was City though who forged the first opening. A foul on Chris Jones yielded a frekick which was chipped into the box and it was Gerwyn Jones who rose highest to head on but the ball landed on the roof of the net.
The visitors continued to dominate possession with Ryan Edwards and Damien Allen working hard to disrupt the flow in midfield. A third corner was cleared but on 23 minutes Aeron Edwards shot low on goal and forced a decent save out of Lee Idzi. A fourth corner for the Park Hall side ended in Idzi again in the action, saving a toe poke from Sam Finley.
On the half hour mark Bangor were awarded a freekick on the edge of the box for a foul on Les Davies. The crowd behind the goal anticipated a Dec Walker piledriver and they were not to be disappointed although Paul Harrison pulled off a fine save at his top right hand corner.
Moments later The New Saints might have gone ahead but Greg Draper's mishit shot from the left trickled against the post and was cleared. Next Sam Finley hit the bar with a long range effort which bounced away to the relief of the Bangor contingent.
As the visitors pressed and pushed Bangor back Gerwyn Jones stood firm with a couple of well timed challenges on the edge of the box to break up attacks and try and set City on the counter. But with just two minutes to the interval Bangor fell behind.
With the ball seemingly becalmed on the right, by the Bangor dugout, a booming crossfield ball from Sam Finley picked out former Rhyl striker Matty Williams on the left and his calm low finish beat Lee Idzi from ten yards.
And that was just about the last meaningful incident of the first half which ended with Bangor trailing by that solitary strike.
HALF TIME 0-1: No changes at the interval.
With City now attacking the Bangor End hopes were high of a fightback.
On 65 minutes Bangor sent on Jamie McDaid for Jamie Petrie but within two minutes The New Saints went two nil ahead as one time Neath wide man Chris Jones picked out Sam Finley who crashed the ball beyond Lee Idzi.
On 69 minutes Bangor seized a lifeline as young substitute Jamie McDaid rifled the ball home from close range after the Saints defence has failed to clear. This seems to energise both players and supporters and unsettled the visitors defence.
The New Saints responed by replacing Greg Draper with the pacey Alex Darlington but Michael Johnston and Gerwyn Jones kept their cool and patrolled the half way line to good effect.
Rightback Dec Walker forced a great save from Paul Harrison but the visitors cleared from the corner.
Bangor won a second corner which Les Davies headed over as optimism rose in the blue camp. With ten minutes to play a move down the left involving Jamie McDaid and Sion Edwards saw the left winger crash a low shot into the side netting from six yards.
Five minutes from time Les Davies and leftback Chris Marriott were yellow carded for a disagreement which attacted Mr John's attention.
As time ran out Bangor pressed the visitors back and from a third corner, won by Jamie McDaid, the ball clearly struck the arm of a green shirted defender who appeared to scoop the ball upwards. Referee Dean John though saw nothing and despite loud penalty claims the little Swansea whistler trotted off.
That was about it for City with added time played and spent the final blast signalled the end and some disappointment for the blues faithful who had seen their young side fightback bravely to so nearly share the spoils.
With two more games left before the six and six split Bangor still seem well in contention for both a top six place and to tilt at third place - all to play for.