Was Peter Davenport a success as Bangor City manager ? Looking back on his era (2001-05)

Bangor City celebrate a famous win over Sartid Smederevo under Peter Davenport’s managership in 2002. Picture by kind permission of the Citizens Choice website

Neville Powell achieved such remarkable success as manager of Bangor City between 2007-11, it often overshadows the decent reigns of other Citizens bosses earlier in the new millennium.

Between 2001-2006, the club had two really well-known names who played top division and international football at the helm.

Ex-Manchester United and Wales defender Clayton Blackmore was in charge at Farrar Road in 2006 and led Bangor to the Welsh Cup final.

And from 2001-05, former Nottingham Forest, Man United and England striker Peter Davenport was City boss.

It is 15 years ago this week that Davenport left the Citizens. Over four and a half seasons, the Birkenhead-born chief achieved some good things at the club.

Davenport became Bangor City’s 10th League of Wales manager in June 2001, replacing Meirion Appleton, who agreed to step down to develop the club’s expanding youth academy.

Before turning to management, Davenport played for the likes of Nottingham Forest, Manchester United, Middlesbrough and Sunderland.

He netted 54 goals in 118 league appearances for Forest, securing himself a £750,000 move to United in 1986, where he netted 22 times in 92 outings.

While at Forest, he was capped for the England national team on the one occasion at senior level, in a 2-1 friendly win over the Republic of Ireland in March 1985.

After leaving Sunderland in 1993, he saw out the rest of his playing career in Scotland and lower level English football.

He joined Macclesfield as player/coach in 1997.but was sacked in December 2000 after refusing to work alongside newly-appointed joint manager Gil Prescott.

Davenport had been the front runner for the Bangor job before his appointment and his first season in charge at Farrar Road was a memorable one.

Star striker Marc Lloyd Williams was the highest scorer in all European leagues with 47 goals, but did not win the European Golden Boot as the Welsh Premier had a lower co-efficient than some of Europe’s bigger leagues.

City also reached the Welsh Cup Final but lost 4-1 to Barry Town and finished third in the Welsh Premier to qualify for Europe.

The 2002-03 campaign began brilliantly with City beating Sartid Smederevo 1-0 in the home leg of their Uefa Cup clash with the Yugoslavs.

Although they lost the return 2-0, going out 2-1 on aggregate, Bangor started well in the league, winning their first four fixtures and netting 17 goals while conceding just one.

The blues ended up third again in the WPL and reached the League Cup final, but lost out on penalties to Rhyl.

Davenport’s charges were less successful in 2003-04, finishing up sixth in the league and suffering a humiliating home defeat to Cymru Alliance side Glantraeth on penalties in the Welsh Cup.

Things were better in 2004-05, Davenport’s last full season in charge.

City came third in the WPL for a third time in four seasons under his leadership and also scooped a trophy – the North Wales Coast FA Challenge Cup.

Welsh Alliance underdogs Prestatyn Town were the opposition in the final, which Bangor won 3-0.

There was also a notable 1-0 victory over Cardiff City in the FAW Premier Cup, sealed by a Byron Anthony own goal. Davenport’s men were unfortunate to lose 2-1 against Wrexham in the semi-finals.

Despite the excellent goal scoring form of City great Paul Roberts, the 2005-06 season did not begin particularly well for the blues.

After a 4-1 loss at Rhyl on December 4, 2005, Davenport decided enough was enough and stepped down, citing a lack of progress in the Welsh Premier and Bangor’s unsuccessful application to build a new stadium as his reasons.

Before Neville Powell’s reign, Davenport had been Bangor City’s longest-serving WPL manager.

His match-win percentage of 57.82 % in the league and 52.49 % over all competitive games is highly respectable.

Although trophies were thin on the ground in Davenport’s reign, three third-place finishes in the WPL, appearances in the Welsh Cup and League Cup finals, a famous European win over Sartid and a giant-killing of Cardiff in the Premier Cup made for a more than decent stint in charge.

Perhaps Davenport’s finest legacy, though, was the quality of player he brought to the club – Simon Davies, Lee Hunt, Ricky Evans, Alan Goodall, Mark Connolly, Les Davies, Tony Gray, Layton Maxwell and Gary Roberts to name just a few.

Peter Davenport – Bangor City stats

Season-by-Season

2001-02
League: Played 34 Won 21 Drawn 6 Lost 7 Goals For 83 Goals Against 38 Position 3rd
Cups: Played 13 Won 8 Drawn 1 Lost 4 Goals For 42 Goals Against 24

2002-03
League: Played 34 Won 22 Drawn 5 Lost 7 Goals For 75 Goals Against 34 Position 3rd
Cups: Played 18 Won 9 Drawn 4 Lost 5 Goals For 35 Goals Against 21

2003-04
League: Played 32 Won 16 Drawn 6 Lost 10 Goals For 72 Goals Against 47 Position 6th
Cups: Played 15 Won 4 Drawn 4 Lost 7 Goals For 37 Goals Against 34

2004-05
League: Played 34 Won 20 Drawn 7 Lost 7 Goals For 73 Goals Against 44 Position 3rd
Cups: Played 12 Won 8 Lost 4 Goals For 31 Goals Against 14

2005-06
League: Played 13 Won 6 Drawn 1 Lost 6 Goals For 27 Goals Against 24
Cups: Played 6 Won 2 Lost 4 Goals For 11 Goals Against 11

Overall stats

League: Played 147 Won 85 Drawn 25 Lost 37 Goals For 330 Goals Against 187

Cup: Played 64 Won 31 Drawn 9 Lost 24 Goals For 156 Goals Against 104

All competitions: Played 211 Won 116 Drawn 34 Lost 61 Goals For 486 Goals Against 291

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