Flashback – 15 years ago: The day a 17-year-old sub won hearts of Bangor City fans

Bangor City 3 (Burke 70 & 80, Hay 90)
Aberystwyth Town 1 (Hicks 55)
Welsh Premier League – November 12, 2005

Seventeen-year-old substitute Mike Burke provided the second half brace which secured three hard-earned points for Bangor over a manager-less Aberystwyth at Farrar Road.

Burke came off the bench with some 25 minutes remaining but for the opening hour City fans had begun to fear the worse as Aber at first frustrated the home side and then took a second half lead.

The visitors opened brightly with Sion Meredith and Jon Coates causing problems for the Citizens defence where fit again stopper Paul O’Neill was kept busy.

The first real threat came when Coates ran on goal and forced a great save from Andrew Price, but the loose ball ran to Glyndwr Hughes whose wild effort flew over.

On 20 minutes City reshuffled the side to let Layton Maxwell see more of the ball but Aber, led by the aggressive Bari Morgan, kept working hard and forcing the hosts to give away possession.

At the half-hour point, Maxwell went on a jinking run which saw him pass three visiting defenders. Richard Morgan saved well to his left but Mike Walsh delayed and the chance was gone.

City closed the half on the attack as Maxwell forced Morgan to punch clear, but Aber might have gone ahead only for some alert defending from Kyle Jones, who denied Hicks and then O’Neill blocked a goalbound effort from Coates.

Half-time: 0-0

Sixteen-year-old Ben Ogilvy appeared at the interval in place of Walsh, who had been on the receiving end of some rough treatment from the Powys visitors.

Aber attacked from the restart and Ogilvy quickly showed his pedigree with a quick-footed clearance at the near post as Bangor struggled to clear an early corner.

On 55 minutes Town celebrated the opening goal. Tim Hicks was on hand to round off a fine passing move involving Coates and Meredith, his low drive giving Price no chance.

After an hour Clayton Blackmore sent over City’s fourth corner of the afternoon but Alex Hay’s downward header passed the wrong side of the post.

With frustration growing in the home camp manager Peter Davenport withdrew Paul Friel in favour of teenager Burke.

Some home fans expressed their disappointment at this change and others concerned themselves with the young replacement’s goal scoring potential.

Whatever the worries they quickly disappeared.

Aber failed to clear a Kyle Jones long throw and the ball was worked across field, via Chris Priest, to Martin Beattie whose left-footed cross to the back post found Burke, who powered a header into the net on 70 minutes.

City might have gone ahead when Priest saw his header cleared off the line.

With 15 minutes on the clock Hay thought he had scored but the whistle had already sounded for a foul on goalkeeper Morgan.

In the 80th minute Bangor were ahead for the first time. A corner from the left delivered by Blackmore was flicked on by Burke for his second headed goal to the delight of the Bangor fans and management.

Aber were far from beaten and forced a number of corners and a dangerous free-kick, but the blues defence remained firm.

Then into injury time Burke trotted the ball out of defence on the right, looked around for support and spotted Hay on a diagonal run from left to right.

Hay was found, rounded the goalkeeper and slotted away his team’s third and decisive goal.

Some performance from Burke, though, who will now be aged 32. Hope he’s still playing football and enjoying it.

Bangor City: Andrew Price, Clayton Blackmore, Martin Beattie, Kyle Jones, Paul O’Neill, Mike Walsh (Ben Ogilvy), Layton Maxwell, Chris Priest, Paul Roberts, Alex Hay, Paul Friel (Mike Burke). Subs not used: former Manchester United pair Peter Davenport and Lee Martin.

Many thanks to Mike Smith of the Citizens Choice website for match information

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