Bangor ready for champions
BANGOR City manager Kevin Nicholson insists his team can travel to face league leaders and reigning Welsh Premier champions The New Saints brimming with confidence this Friday (7.45pm).
With nine rounds of matches to go, Saints are 12 points clear of Bangor, who moved up to second after a superb 3-0 home win over Cardiff Met.
City whipped TNS 5-2 on the opening night of the season at the VSM Bangor City FC Stadium and were unfortunate 2-1 losers at Park Hall in the return last month.
Uncharacteristically, the fulltimers have lost twice at home in the league this term, and the Citizens would love to become the third team to win there.
“These last nine games will all be tough,” said Nicholson. “Everyone in the top six is there for a reason; over 22 games they’ve deserved to be there. We’ve just got to take on what we did against Cardiff Met, some of the football we played, and build on that, if we can, even more.
“I think we can go there full of confidence on Friday.”
Nicholson was highly impressed with a victory secured by goals from Gary Taylor-Fletcher, Anthony Miley and Dean Rittenberg.
“It’s a very good way to start phase two,” he said. “It was an excellent team performance and a fully deserved win. We understood the importance of the game and the players gave everything. To score three goals against the team who have the best defensive record in the league is very pleasing.
“We could have scored a few more as well with the amount of chances we created. We played our football, we passed the ball well and we performed with the required energy throughout.
“Every player contributed and we have given ourselves something to build on. If we perform to our capabilities, we can beat anyone.”
The hosts were on top from the start, Steven Hewitt firing just wide before they took a seventh-minute lead. Luke Wall crossed from the right and Taylor-Fletcher made it 1-0 with a fine header from 12 yards.
Bangor were forced into an 11thminute change when defender Paul Connolly aggravated an injury, and Joel Bembo-Leta, a two-goal hero in the Welsh Cup the previous weekend, made his home debut.
Met created a couple of chances, keeper Matthew Hall denying Chris Baker with his feet, before BemboLeta went close from a corner.
Hall foiled Adam Roscrow, but City were on top, away stopper Will Fuller producing fine saves from new signing Alex Darlington and Rittenberg before the break. A second goal soon after the turnaround was just what the doctor ordered, defender Miley finishing from a Hewitt flag-kick in the 48th minute.
Rittenberg added a third with a goal of pure class, beating Fuller with an exquisite curler in the 69th minute. It was all City and they could have added to their tally, Fuller impressive again in thwarting Danny Holmes from distance, while sub Yves Zama and Brayden Shaw also had efforts on goal.
BANGOR: Matthew Hall, Danny Holmes (Brayden Shaw 82), Paul Connolly (Joel Bembo-Leta 11), Tom Kennedy, Luke Wall, Anthony Miley, Gary Taylor-Fletcher, Alex Darlington, Steven Hewitt, Dean Rittenberg ( Yves Zama 70), Danny Gosset.
Bangor City’s No 5 Anthony Miley heads in from a corner against Cardiff Met
Brothers in arms ... City’s management team