Rel­e­ga­tion threat doesn’t pre­vent rous­ing City win

Bangor Mail - - SPORT -

IF Ban­gor City have played their last game in the Welsh Premier League for a while then they cer­tainly went out on a high note.

Re­fused the Do­mes­tic Li­cence es­sen­tial to com­pete in the na­tional league on ap­peal, the Cit­i­zens are fac­ing rel­e­ga­tion, de­spite clinch­ing run­ners-up spot last Fri­day with a 2-1 win at Bala Town.

Fin­ish­ing sec­ond would nor­mally have sealed City au­to­matic en­try to the Europa League, but not hold­ing ei­ther a Tier 1 or Uefa Li­cence bars them from play­ing in the Welsh Premier and Europe in 2018/19.

This means a po­ten­tial end to the three-time WPL cham­pi­ons’ 26-year as­so­ci­a­tion with the league – un­less a le­gal chal­lenge the club’s own­ers are plan­ning against the FAW’s de­ci­sion is suc­cess­ful.

Ban­gor re­vealed last Thurs­day that the club’s ap­peal against the li­cences re­fusal was re­jected on fi­nan­cial grounds, but in­sisted its books are in or­der.

City took the field the fol­low­ing evening at Bala un­der the cloud of im­pend­ing rel­e­ga­tion, yet came up with a rous­ing per­for­mance capped by George Harry’s mag­nif­i­cent 90th minute win­ner.

Man­ager Kevin Ni­chol­son hailed an outstanding per­for­mance. He said: “It was great to fin­ish with a win on Fri­day and clinch the run­ners-up spot in this sea­son’s JD Welsh Premier League.

“Our aims were to fin­ish the sea­son strong, reach 60 points, fin­ish sec­ond and be the near­est team to chal­lene TNS. “We achieved all our tar­gets. “Over the course of a league sea­son and 32 matches, ev­ery side de­serves to fin­ish where they fin­ish - we proved to be the sec­ond best team be­hind a very good TNS side.

“The play­ers de­serve huge credit for how they per­formed on Fri­day as well as the char­ac­ter and qual­ity they have dis­played through­out the sea­son.

“The team have made con­sid­er­able progress this sea­son, win­ning more games, con­ced­ing less goals and ac­cu­mu­lat­ing more points.

“It’s been a marked im­prove­ment on pre­vi­ous sea­sons and we are very proud of achiev­ing the club’s best league fin­ish for six years.”

The Cit­i­zens took a 37th minute lead when Steven He­witt fin­ished off a slick move.

Bala had their op­por­tu­ni­ties, and Ian Sheridan lev­elled with 19 min­utes re­main­ing, but Harry’s an­gled in­jury time strike at least gave the City faith­ful some­thing to shout about.

● Ban­gor’s Joel Bembo-Leta (blue) is chal­lenged by Bala’s Kieran Smith. Pic­ture: BALA TOWN ME­DIA

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