CITIZENS TARGET RARE WIN AT NEW SAINTS IN BID TO SNATCH RUNNERS-UP SPOT FOR MID-SEASON SPLIT
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.”
Bangor City’s George Harry (blue) celebrates his goal against Newtown.