Cit­i­zens earn first league win un­der boss

Bangor Mail - - Sport -

BANGOR City picked up a much­needed three points as they up­set rivals Rhyl 2-1 at Belle Vue in what was man­ager Pe­dro Pas­culli’s first league win since tak­ing over in Oc­to­ber.

The Cit­i­zens, led su­perbly by cap­tain Pavel Vieira, re­mained res­o­lute to se­cure a morale-boost­ing vic­tory on the road, leav­ing them in 10th spot ahead of an­other tough Cymru North trip to Col­wyn Bay on Fri­day night.

Ross Stephens fired an ef­fort over for the home side in the open­ing minute, but the in­flu­en­tial mid­fielder was forced off with in­jury soon af­ter to fur­ther de­plete a squad that was al­ready miss­ing Cai Owen and Gethin Maxwell due to fam­ily com­mit­ments.

A se­ries of ro­bust chal­lenges from the vis­i­tors went un­pun­ished by ref­eree Aled Wil­liams dur­ing the open­ing ex­changes, with Francesco Leghissa go­ing close for City when his shot was par­ried away from dan­ger by Rory Crowther.

Em­manuel Agye­mang went into the book for a bad chal­lenge on Max Peate and the for­ward notched the opener in con­tro­ver­sial fash­ion on 34 min­utes when he cap­i­talised on a Ben Bur­rows error to find the net, which Wil­liams al­lowed de­spite the as­sis­tant ref­eree flag­ging for off­side.

The Lilies re­sponded well to the set­back and got back on level terms when an Aaron Has­sall cross was met by Sam Molyneux, who headed past Gabriele Brino on 39 min­utes for the equaliser.

Pas­culli’s men re­grouped well and man­aged to re­gain the ini­tia­tive a minute be­fore the break thanks to a near-post header from Si­mone Rea, who steered in a Mas­simo Sam­martino cross to re­store the away side’s slen­der cush­ion.

More con­tro­versy ar­rived in first half stop­page time when Piero Cauterucci re­treated from a foul that would have re­sulted in a red card, with Wil­liams in­stead book­ing the wrong player and show­ing Leghissa a yel­low card.

Af­ter the break saw Has­sall and Arek Pisko­rski both spurn good op­por­tu­ni­ties for the home side, but de­spite con­trol­ling pos­ses­sion for long pe­ri­ods they were un­able to come up with any­thing fur­ther of note in the fi­nal third as the City rear-guard held firm in the face of sus­tained pres­sure.

Sub­sti­tute Cal­lum Roberts’ late ef­fort was su­perbly di­verted by Brino as the Cit­i­zens held on for their first three points un­der their World Cup-win­ning boss.

Last week Bangor City an­nounced that first-team coach Luke Pur­cell had left the club with im­me­di­ate ef­fect.

In a state­ment, the club said: “Af­ter the ac­qui­si­tion of Bangor City FC, the club is re­struc­tur­ing the man­age­ment in or­der to achieve the goals and vi­sions we want for 2020.

“For that rea­son, Mr Luke Pur­cell is no longer with the club.

“Bangor City FC would like to bid him farewell and wish him the best.”

Pur­cell also served as gen­eral man­ager un­der Vaughan Sports Man­age­ment (VSM).

In Septem­ber, a con­sor­tium headed by Domenico Ser­afino com­pleted a deal to take con­trol of the club from VSM, bring­ing to an end a tu­mul­tuous pe­riod, with the club suf­fer­ing de­mo­tion from the top flight as well as hav­ing to fight nu­mer­ous bat­tles to avoid points de­duc­tions.

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