|Matchreport: Welsh Cup Semi-Final - Saturday, 06 April 2013 - 15:00 h|
|Match Date: Saturday, 06 April 2013|
|Match Time: 15:00 h|
Starting line up
|90||Goal - Chris Jones|
|60||Yellow card - Chris Simm|
|57||Yellow card - Chris Roberts|
|31||Yellow card - Peter Hoy|
That the all important winning goal came in the last few seconds of injury time at the end of this cup semi final only added gloss to what was an excellent performance by Bangor.
And full credit must go to Messrs Powell and Limbert for devising a line up and strategy which gave City a platform to compete and eventually win.
This involved playing Peter Hoy as a defensive barrier in central midfield, pulling Les Davies over to the left wing, and giving both Ryan Edwards and Damien Allen the freedom to push up as they wished.
Bangor started well enough with some loud shouts for a penalty after a Peter Hoy long throw before Damien Allen headed over from a freekick on the left. But the Saints had chances too as Ryan Fraughan show cleanly from fifteen yards but Lee Idzi saved well. As the full timers pressed the tall and reassuring figure of Dave Morley stood firm alongside Michael Johnston a the heart of the blues defence.
Next there was a stoppage as Aeron Edwards received treatment following a heavy challenge with Michael Johnston. On the half hour the Park Hall side won their first corner but Phil Baker lofted well over. Moments later Peter Hoy was shown the yellow card on half way for a late tackle.
Ryan Fraughan then fired well wide before a third TNS corner was again ballooned over by the long serving Baker from ten yards. As time ran out the veteran Scott Ruscoe toe poked wide from the edge of the box. And that was about it as Referee Pratt, who had been calm and composed throughout, blew for the interval and queues formed at the various teabars.
HALF TIME 0-0
One change at the interval saw young Sam Finley replace Aeron Edwards in the Saints midfield.
Bangor were now playing away from the entrance end, with the aid of a light breeze, attacking the massed ranks behind Paul Harrison's goal. Chris Roberts was harshly carded by Referee Pratt for a trip on half way. The Shropshire side won a fourth corner which came to nothing before Chris Simm was also shown the yellow card on the hour.
The afternoon felt as if it was building up to something without really taking off. Then the hard working Chris Simm burst onto the scene as he exploited some sloppy defending by rightback Simon Spender to cut in from the blues left and shoot goalwards but Harrison saved.
From the corner the ball dropped to Chris Jones but he fired over. On 65 minutes with Bangor picking up the pace Damien Allen had a shot held by Harrison who was now the busier of the two keepers. Moments later Mike Wilde was also carded for jumping into Michael Johnston.
Lee Idzi sent a long clearance which Les Davies headed on but Chris Simm could not quite gather the bouncing ball on the firm dry Belle Vue pitch. TNS went for a second change on 71 mins when local lad Matty Williams replaced Alex Darlington. Bangor pressed once more as Liam Brownhill crossed left footed from the right but Chris Jones fired over. Chris Marriott crossed for Mike Wilde but Lee Idzi saved bravely and need treatment before being able to continue. Moments earlier Peter Hoy was replaced by Sion Edwards with a noisy applause for both players.
With a little more than ten minutes remaining young Sam Finley had a rush of blood and dived in on Chris Roberts. It looked a bad challenge and as City's left back was treated Referee Pratt showed the former Warrington grafter a red card. Despite the inevitable protestations from the greens off he went.
On 82 mins Gary O'Toole replaced Chris Simm who had been tireless and selfless upfront in the sole striker role. Would "One Touch" be the man to break the deadlock? With two minutes remaining Les Davies found space on the left but dragged his shot wide to his clear dismay.
The fourth official indicated four minutes of added time. Three passed with little incident, thoughts drifted towards extra time. But with around thirty seconds left Lee Idzi boomed a goalkick down the middle which Gary O'Toole and Chris Jones chased but it was the Nefyn striker whose light touch lifted the ball over Harrison and into the net. The Bangor fans celebrated noisily and the game was won.
There was time for The New Saints to restart but - no more - and the whistle blew with City through to the Welsh Cup Final and a date in early May with Prestatyn who beat Barry in the other semi final.
Report by Mike Smith (The Citizens' Choice)