Ban­gor ready for cham­pi­ons

Bangor Mail - - SPORT -

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.

Pic­tures: RICHARD BIRCH

Ban­gor City’s No 5 An­thony Mi­ley heads in from a cor­ner against Cardiff Met

Brothers in arms ... City’s man­age­ment team

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