Play Off action returns to Nantporth on Saturday with the visit of old rivals Newtown, and after the relative dead-calm of the previous ten fixtures this is do or die. A cup semi final with a final play off against either Carmarthen or Rhyl up for grabs. The stakes can also be viewed in financial terms with around £100K on offer to the side which qualifies for Europe, which at Welsh Premier level is a huge chunk of the annual running costs.
The two sides have already lockedhorns in four Welsh Premier fixtures, and without raking over too much old ground, the outcome has been three wins for Bangor and one for Newtown. But the Robins will gain confidence from the fact their solitary win was last month, a 3-1 triumph at Latham Park. City fans will have few fond memories of the game which saw Jamie Petrie and Rob Jones waiting for the same ambulance despite being injured more than ninety minutes apart.
Sadly injuries disrupt both managers as the ponder their starting elevens. Reds boss Chris Hughes must discount the hugely talented Sean Evans who went under the surgeons knife last week. A former Manchester United trainee Evans will be sorely missed by the visitors. Blues boss Nev Powell must rule out Jamie Petrie who has badly injured in the opening minutes of that Latham Park loss, and of course long term absentee Jamie Brewerton. So who will play and how will it pan out?
The two sides seem quite evenly matched and Nantporth offers an excellent playing surface. For some reason the sentence that comes to mind here is "win the midfield and win the game" which means for City Ryan Edwards and co must get the better of veteran Robin schemer Matty Cook and co. Sounds easy - but The Robins were written off by some before the season started and under first Bernard McNally and now Chris Hughes they have delighted in proving their doubters wrong! There could also be an interesting tussle between Les Davies and the bearded Shane Sutton at one end, and Michael Johnston and Neil Mitchell at the other.
Clearly this is a big game for both sides and reports suggest the visitors are bringing a coachload of supporters to cheer them on.
Lets hope they do - but that Bangor fans rise to the occasion..
Match preview courtesy of Mike Smith (www.the-citizens-choice.co.uk)