City boss: Still all to play for in race for second
NICHOLSON OPTIMISTIC DESPITE DEFEAT TO RIVALS
BANGOR City manager Kevin Nicholson insists there is still plenty of mileage left in the race for runners-up spot in the Welsh Premier League, despite his team’s disappointing 2-1 home loss to fellow high-flyers Bala Town last weekend.
With nine-man Connah’s Quay Nomads also pulling off an amazing 2-1 home victory over Cefn Druids, City have slipped to fourth with five matches remaining.
The Citizens are level on games and points with Nomads, who have a slightly better goal difference, but Bala are a point ahead of both in second having played a fixture less.
Bangor do not have a league match this weekend, but will no doubt be interested in the outcome of Bala’s trip to leaders The New Saints on Friday.
Nicholson felt his team deserved nothing from their defeat at the hands of a Bala outfit which had been whipped 5-0 at Nantporth in phase one back in November.
City took a 13th-minute lead when Yves Zama headed in Steven Hewitt’s free kick but were unable to build on that, allowing the Lakesiders to wrest command.
Chris Venables levelled before half time and then converted a 56th-minute penalty given for a foul against Joel Bembo-Leta.
It could have been worse for the Citizens, with a hat-trick seeking Venables denied a treble when Matthew Hall saved a second spot-kick on 66 minutes.
Nicholson said after the game: “Tonight was bitterly disappointing. Over the course of the 90 minutes we didn’t deserve to get anything from the game.
“The way that we played as a team wasn’t good enough, certainly well below par in terms of our normal standards.
“If you look at the game the key word is appetite and I thought they showed far more appetite to win a game of football than what we did.
“We didn’t show enough bravery to get on the ball, put on passing moves that were going to hurt them.
“We didn’t make enough movements ahead of the ball; as a team collectively we were well below par and when that happens you cannot expect to win a football match.”
On a more optimistic note, the City boss added: “It’s a bit of a blow tonight, but nothing is done and dusted yet, we’ve still got a lot of points to play for. It’s all about how we respond to this now against Cardiff Met in two weeks’ time.”
Bangor will do battle with Connah’s Quay Nomads in the Welsh Cup semi-finals next month.
Last Tuesday, Andy Morrison’s side knocked out cup favourites The New Saints 2-1 at the Deeside Stadium to set up a penultimate stage clash with City at the Corbett Sports Stadium in Rhyl on Saturday, April 7.
Kick-off will be at 7.35pm and S4C will broadcast the tie live.
City have won all three encounters against the Deesiders in the Welsh Premier League this season.
In the other semi, Aberystwyth Town and Newtown will meet at Maes Tegid, Bala, on Sunday, April 8, noon kick-off.