Bangor City 1 (Michael Walsh 45)
Welsh Premier League – December 18, 2005
Fifteen years ago this weekend City battled hard for a narrow win at Latham Park under caretaker-manager Mel Jones.
The visitors lined up with Clayton Blackmore at sweeper in a back three alongside Paul O’Neill – who was simply outstanding – and Kyle Jones, who also impressed once more.
The five-man midfield allowed Layton Maxwell to concentrate on attack rather than defence and the hard-working pair of Paul Friel and the hugely impressive Chris Priest also stood out.
Despite all this the first half was pretty flat.
Midway through a home corner prompted Citizens keeper Andrew Price to rise majestically to gather above his defence and set his team moving forward.
Carl Lamb ran at pace but his goalbound shot was blocked by former Citizen Mark Allen. The resulting throw fell for Kenny Burgess who cut into the box from the right but slashed wide from 12 yards out.
With time running out Newtown’s Danny Desormeaux headed over before Bangor snatched a late lead.
Maxwell feigned to take a throw on the right but instead handed over to Kyle Jones whose long delivery was half cleared by Adrian Moody to the edge of the box.
Michael Walsh kept his eye on the ball to send it skimming into the corner of the net with home keeper John Rowley a touch slow to react – not so the visiting Bangor fans who celebrated immediately!
If City had been lucky to go in a goal ahead after 45 minutes they would still wonder how it was not four or five after 90 as the men in blue dominated but found Rowley in an unbeatable mood.
Maxwell side-footed on target after good approach play from Walsh, but Rowley was up to the task.
Moments later Walsh went close himself after breezing past full-back Craig Williams.
Friel then released Lamb on the right. The pacey striker ran on goal and unleashed a powerful shot which produced an acrobatic stop from Rowley.
Rowley then misplaced a booted clearance which the alert Walsh headed through to Paul Roberts but his low drive from the right missed the near upright by inches.
Roberts then crashed another 20-yarder narrowly wide before Lamb’s header went beyond the back post after a good cross from the right by Burgess.
With 15 minutes remaining Alan Hooley gathered a pass from Peter Smith but his shot was held by Price.
This was little more than temporary respite as Roberts again fired on target but once more found Rowley in the way.
Roberts and Priest went close, but as often happens late chances might have – however unfairly – denied Bangor.
First Desormeaux fired wide and then a last minute corner yielded a goal-line clearance from Kyle Jones, but City held out for the three points and should, in all fairness, have won by a few more.
Bangor: Andrew Price, Clayton Blackmore, Kyle Jones, Paul Friel, Paul O’Neill, Mike Walsh, Kenny Burgess, Chris Priest, Paul Roberts, Layton Maxwell, Carl Lamb. Subs: Martin Beattie, Ben Ogilvy, Darren Gowans, Mike Burke.