Bangor travelled to Iceland for a first ever encounter with Stjarnan on the outskirts of Rejkavik but the evening ended in an emphatic defeat. Bangor boss Nev Powell gave a European debut to summer signing Sam Hart in midfield and there was a place on the bench for Jamie Brewerton. Playing into a strong wind City won an early freekick on the left which Sion Edwards crossed but Les Davies was flagged offside.
But some thirteen minutes in things went sour for Bangor as a penalty was awarded to Stjarnan for a foul by Anthony Miley on Niclas Vemmelund following a deep corner from the left. Up stepped Olafur Karl Finsen to beat Jack Cudworth and put the Iceland side one goal ahead.
It got worse for City two minutes later when Hordur Arnason found space on the left to cross for Veigar Gunnarson to head home cleanly from six yards out on around fifteen minutes. The Bangor bench jumped up and appealed for a foul with Anthony Miley seeming to be pushed in the back, but the goal stood despite the protestations.
Bangor tried to respond and a run from Les Davies saw the ball run for Sam Hart but his twenty yard effort was comfortably pocketed by goalkeeper Invgar Jonnson. On twenty five minutes Chris Roberts was flattened by Niclas Vemmelund for which he was shown the first yellow card of the evening. On the half hour Stjarnan won a corner which Gunnarson crossed but Vemmelund - who might have been sent off minutes earlier - steered wide. Next Les Davies has an effort blocked but the Icelanders are menacing with their pace and movement which sees Michael Johnston concede a corner which Johannson crosses but happily for Bangor straight into the side netting. With some five minutes to go before half time Chris Jones is fouled on the right by Johannson. Sion Edwards delivers the freekick but Stjarnan clear.
In the closing minutes Les Davies found Sion Edwards whose shot was blocked as City sought to halve the deficit before Laxdal went close for the home side. There was time for Anthony Miley to be shown the yellow card for a foul on Gunnarson as two added minutes began. Nothing much further to report as the referee blew for the interval.
So City trailing two goals to nil but with the wind at their backs Bangor might fancy their chances of pulling back even one away goal which would give the second leg such a different complexion..
With no changes at the interval the main question was would the wind help City find an away goal? But seven minutes into the second period it was the Icelandic side who nearly increased their lead as Gunnarson hit the post when well placed. And the warning was driven home on 54 minutes when Pablo Punyed found Olafur Karl Finsen who made it three nil with his second of the evening to leave Bangor with a mountain to climb. This sparked City into action and the first sustained period of pressure all evening. First Sion Edwards fired a freekick wide after a foul by Praest. Then Les Davies had a shot turned away for a corner which Sion Edwards delivered but the Latvian referee awarded a freekick against Anthony Miley who was clearly getting the rough end of some decisions. On the hour another Bangor corner which Anthony Miley just failed to send goalwards and moments later Chris Jones fired just over from ten yards.
Stjarnan responded with the first substitution of the evening as G Johannsson came on for Gunnarson. Ten minutes later Jack Cudworth pulled off a fine save from Johannson but he took the resulting corner which Arnar Bjorgvinsson netted to make it four nil and effectively end the game as a contest. Within a minute (on 71) City sent on Jamie McDaid for Chris Jones in a bid to salvage something from the match.
But things went from bad to worse for Bangor who had Damien Allen yellow carded on 73 minutes before debutant Sam Hart was shown a straight red for a challenge on Finsen with thirteen minutes left on the clock.
With ten minutes left Sion Edwards forced a save out of Johnnson who had scarcely been run off his feet before Les Davies fired wide. Moments later Rob Jones came on for Sion Edwards who had worked hard on the left. Spanish midfielder Pablo Punyed went close to making it five with as many minutes to go as the home side looked to extend their advantage. In the final minute Heider Aegisson replaced goalscorer Finsen before Joe Culshaw came on for Ryan Edwards.
Substitute Gardar Johnannsson hit the wood work before the Latvian referee blew for time and brought the curtain down on a difficult evening for Bangor in Europe.
Match report courtesy of Mike Smith