Dou­ble dream

CI­TI­ZENS TAR­GET RARE WIN AT NEW SAINTS IN BID TO SNATCH RUN­NERS-UP SPOT FOR MID-SEA­SON SPLIT

Bangor Mail - - SPORT -

BAN­GOR City will tar­get the mother of all dou­bles when they round off phase one with a visit to Welsh Pre­mier League lead­ers The New Saints this Satur­day (5.15pm start).

The Ci­ti­zens need three points and must then hope other re­sults go their way to grab run­ners-up spot ahead of the mid-sea­son split.

It will be far eas­ier said than done, but Ban­gor have al­ready beaten TNS once this sea­son, and by a con­vinc­ing 5-2 score­line at Nant­porth back on the open­ing night in Au­gust.

And two teams be­low City in the table, Barry Town United and New­town, have found ways to win at the cham­pi­ons’ home Park Hall this term.

Vic­to­ries over Saints, home and away in the same sea­son, are as rare as rock­ing horse drop­pings, so Kevin Ni­chol­son’s men will have to pro­duce some­thing spe­cial to achieve the feat this Satur­day.

Fol­low­ing three matches in which they failed to score, the all­blues re­dis­cov­ered their touch in front of goal last Fri­day with a 3-1 tri­umph against New­town at the VSM Ban­gor City Foot­ball Sta­dium.

Af­ter a gap of some 300 min­utes since their previous goal, Ban­gor broke the dead­lock just past the quar­ter-hour.

Steven He­witt’s smart lofted pass found Gary Tay­lor-Fletcher, who bril­liantly chipped over Robins keeper David Jones.

City had a lucky es­cape when keeper Matthew Hall spilled a cor­ner, but the vis­i­tors were un­able to take ad­van­tage.

Jones did well to turn a Dean Rit­ten­berg ef­fort be­hind for a flag-kick and the in­ter­val ar­rived with the score at 1-0.

The home fans were in rap­tures seven min­utes into the sec­ond half when Ge­orge Harry blasted home a peach from the left-hand cor­ner of the box.

Ban­gor could have made it three when Jones par­ried Rit­ten­berg’s shot and Tay­lor-Fletcher could not quite get his feet in place to ap­ply the fin­ish.

Tay­lor-Fletcher fluffed an­other op­por­tu­nity and the Ci­ti­zens paid the price when Neil Mitchell headed in from New­town’s first on­tar­get ef­fort in the 69th minute.

Ban­gor re­sponded pos­i­tively, but could not feel they had the points in the bag un­til the 86th minute, when Jones kept out two Luke Wall shots and Harry buried the loose ball.

Man­ager Ni­chol­son was re­lieved to see his team break their goalscor­ing drought.

“We’re de­lighted to get back to winning ways - de­lighted that we scored three goals as we hadn’t scored in three games. To get that first goal was a re­lief - it was a re­ally im­por­tant goal that Gary scored.

“We thought we de­served the win, there were still ar­eas we thought we could have been bet­ter in in the sec­ond half, to man­age the game and keep pos­ses­sion of the ball even bet­ter than what we did, to man­age the game and not let them back in it.

“But I was very pleased too with the char­ac­ter we showed to stay calm, keep do­ing things that we wanted to do when they pegged us back to 2-1 - and we kept at­tack­ing to go and get the third. That was re­ally pleasing.

“All three goals were very well taken, Gary’s first one on the vol­ley, Ge­orge’s first one an ex­cel­lent strike from out­side the box and he took the third one re­ally well.”

PIC­TURE: RICHARD BIRCH

Ban­gor City’s Ge­orge Harry (blue) cel­e­brates his goal against New­town.

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