Neath 1 (Chris Jones pen 60)
Bangor City 2 (Les Davies 70, Jamie Reed 80)
Welsh Premier League – October 23, 2010
Ten years ago this weekend Bangor made it 11 Welsh Premier wins in a row and edged 13 points clear at the summit with a determined effort at The Gnoll.
City kicked off with a low sun in their faces and a noisy travelling contingent spurring them on.
Early chances fell to Les Davies, who fired over from distance, then the big forward netted but the whistle had blown for offside.
Michael Johnston soon came to terms with the threat of former Rhyl favourite Lee Trundle as City dominated the opening stages.
Eagles goalkeeper Craig Morris was forced into action to keep out Nicky Ward’s clean strike.
On 21 minutes Bangor could have gone ahead as Peter Hoy found Ward on the right, and his early cross picked out Davies who narrowly missed the target.
City showed some variation as Hoy threw back to Johnston on halfway. His touch and inviting cross found Alan Bull who forced a good save from Morris.
On the half hour Ward needed treatment after taking a blow in the face from Trundle. Seconds later Jamie Brewerton did well to stop the left-footer as he closed on goal.
Neath’s best moment of the first half came when Andy Hill shot on target and Paul Smith did well to preserve the clean sheet.
The lively Chris Jones unhinged Bangor with a mazy run on the left but his shot hit the far post to the relief of everyone in blue.
The sun was now lower and more of a menace for Eagles keeper Morris for that.
Bangor again forced the early pace and Bull cut in from the left but struck the side-netting from a tight angle.
Neath gathered themselves, with Paul Fowler and Chris Jones prominent.
They won a penalty as Chad Bond’s run into the blues box ended in a collision with Brewerton.
Up stepped Chris Jones to score confidently to the delight of the home crowd and bench.
City looked to their biggest and most visible attacking threat for a response – and he did not fail them.
Davies crashed through two home defenders and shot goalwards but Morris saved. Brewerton and Ward were also foiled by the keeper.
On 66 minutes Craig Garside made a welcome return, Chris Jones making way.
Four minutes later it was all-square. A trademark torpedo from Hoy found Davies in front of goal. The Truck found time to head down and shoot home despite the whole Neath defence charging in!
Referee Brian James took a lenient view of a spiteful rugby style challenge from Neath’s Paul Cochlin on Citizens keeper Paul Smith.
On 79 minutes winger Eddie Jebb came on for the injured Bull.
With 10 minutes left Bangor had the lead.
Davies forced the ball forward, on the edge of the box Garside slid in and Jamie Reed placed the ball wide of Morris before celebrating with a rugby dive behind the goal.
Bangor now had to stand firm to win, which they did. Davies helped City spend much of the final minutes in the Neath half and eventually James blew for time and the celebrations began.
Neath: Craig Morris, Ian Hillier, Andy Fairbairn, Kristian O’Leary, Liam Hancock, Paul Cochlin, Chris Jones, Paul Fowler, Andrew Hill. Lee Trundle, Chad Bond.
Bangor City: Paul Smith, Peter Hoy, Chris Roberts, Dave Morley, James Brewerton, Michael Johnston, Jamie Reed (Clive Williams 90), Alan Bull (Eddie Jebb 77), Les Davies, Nicky Ward, Chris Jones (Craig Garside 66).