BANGOR CITY 5 (P Roberts 3, Lamb, Priest)
GRANGE QUINS 1 (Showderry)
Welsh Premier League – November 25, 2005
Before the match a one-minute silence in memory of Irish legend George Best, who passed away this day 15 years ago, was immaculately observed by all present at Farrar Road.
Some 36 years earlier the European Footballer of The Year had been a member of the Manchester United side which opposed Wales in a celebratory fixture as Prince Charles was invested as Prince of Wales at Caernarfon Castle.
So it was fitting that two wingers were the focus of attention, before and after this high scoring match on the grass graced by Best and many other greats all those years ago.
City fans had come hoping for a first glimpse of local teenager Darren Gowans but left doutbless impressed by an outstanding performance by visiting left winger Rassul Abdul, who gave Clayton Blackmore a torrid time on the right.
Not that Abdul made a huge difference to the overall outcome of the 90 minutes.
City were ahead inside one minute with the fastest goal seen at Farrar Road for years.
A Paul O’Neill back-pass was cleared by Andrew Price and swept towards the Farrar End by a stiff breeze.
Having cleared Paul Roberts the ball deceived Terry Evans and left Alex Hay free to run to the right, shoot at goal and set up Carl Lamb who had the simplest of jobs from two yards out.
Both teams carved out chances with Showderry going close and Abdul unsettling the Bangor defence on more than one occasion.
In one combination involving the two visitors Kyle Jones appealed for a foul, referee John ruled play on, and Showderry forced a good save from Price with O’Neill completing the clearance.
On 25 minutes a pacey run from Hay on the left set up Layton Maxwell whose shot was deflected wide for a fourth corner for the home side.
Play switched to the St Paul’s End where Showderry again went close from 15 yards.
Chris Priest fired off target before the lanky Joe Finlayson repeated the feat at the opposite end.
City went closest when a Blackmore free-kick hit the wall and span to Priest whose sweet drive struck the left hand upright.
The ball was crossed to Lamb, but his close range header flew over.
On 35 minutes Bangor doubled their advantage.
After a number of promising free-kicks had been wasted, leading goalscorer Paul Roberts took control of a 30-yarder which he drilled hard and low against the left hand post.
The ball cannoned back off the upright, struck the goalkeeper in the back and trickled across the line.
Abdul fired off target before Bangor bagged their third goal in the 44th minute.
Maxwell and Priest combined to find Blackmore on the right.
His pass found Mike Walsh who in turn passed to Lamb whose cross shot was half stopped by 16 year old keeper Chris Golton but only as far as Paul Roberts who slid the ball home from point blank range.
As the home fans sat down Quins broke on the left, Abdul crossed despite being surrounded by defenders, and a fumble by Price allowed Showderry to tap home from close range.
Half-time: Bangor 3 Quins 1
Playing into the breeze and attacking the St Paul’s End, City nearly went further ahead from the restart as Hay chased a clever through ball from Priest but young Golton saved well.
However, the game youngster was beaten again on 55 minutes.
A well weighted pass from Maxwell found Hay on the left, his run ended in a near post cross which was bungled by Golton into the path of Roberts who completed his hat-trick.
On the hour City fans welcomed young Gowans, signed from Beaumaris, onto the pitch in place of the mercurial Maxwell.
Ben Ogilvy then replaced Blackmore with Kyle Jones moving to right-back and Martin Beattie vacating his full-back berth to line up alongside O’Neill.
Gowans charged down the left to cross near post for Lamb but his effort was deflected for a corner.
Mike Burke then came on for Roberts with one eye on forthcoming fixtures.
In a spirited fightback the visitors forced five corners in a five-minute spell, but having failed to score they nearly conceded as sub Burke saw his right-wing cross land on Golton’s crossbar.
Gowans enjoyed another run down the left after an inviting pass from Hay who was involved in the final action of the match.
A booming crossfield ball from Lamb was collected by Hay who ran at the visitors defence, shot on target, Golton fumbled onto the post and Priest popped up to sidefoot home from close range yet again.
So an emphatic victory after what was at times a patchy performance.
Quins brought little support, no manager and went home on the wrong end of a heavy defeat.
But in the performances of Showderry and the skilful Abdul they have hope for the future.
As indeed do Bangor judging by the average age of the side which left the field to a warm ovation from the Bangor faithful.
BANGOR: Andrew Price, Clayton Blackmore (Ben Ogilvy 55), Martin Beattie, Kyle Jones, Paul O’Neill, Mike Walsh, Layton Maxwell (Darren Gowans 60), Chris Priest, Paul Roberts (Mike Burke 72), Alex Hay, Carl Lamb. Subs: Paul Friel.