Boxing Day barnstormers – past clashes between Bangor and Caernarfon

Bangor City and Caernarfon Town shared some epic Boxing Day derbies

Many past football seasons featured Boxing Day derbies between Bangor City v Caernarfon Town on the fixture list.

Not any more. Since 2008-09, these two great rivals have not shared a pitch on Gŵyl San Steffan – 12 years too long.

Caernarfon lost their Welsh Premier status in 2008-09 and when they got it back in 2018-19, Bangor had gone in the other direction – relegated to the Cymru Alliance.

This Boxing Day, of course, there are no games at all due to Covid-19, the ultimate Christmas spoiler.

When might Bangor and Caernarfon meet again on December 26?

Well, the Canaries are in their third successive season back in the Cymru Premier and looking quite comfortable – therefore it is up to City to return to where they belonged for 26 years.

Firstly, it would be nice for them to get a chance to go for promotion, with the 2020-21 Cymru North season yet to start.

Here is a look back at the last eight Bangor City v Caernarfon Town Boxing Day derbies.

Many thanks as always to Mike Smith of the Citizens Choice website for his help in compiling this feature.

2008-09

Caernarfon Town 0
Bangor City 2 (Brewerton, Sharp)
Welsh Premier – Dec 26, 2008

James Brewerton (blue) opened the scoring in the last Boxing Day derby between Bangor City and Caernarfon in 2008. Picture: Aled Jones

Only the heroics of Caernarfon keeper Lee Guinion prevented City from winning the last Boxing Day derby between these rivals for the time being far more emphatically.
Add a penalty save from Bangor glovesman Paul Smith and 11 bookings – including both goalkeepers – from Bethesda ref Lee Evans and you have a flavour of the Christmas cracker which warmly entertained the 1000+ crowd at The Oval.
Against the run of play Caernarfon earned a penalty for a trip by James Brewerton on Steve Johnston, but the diminutive striker could not take the advantage as Smith dived to his right and pulled off an excellent save.
On 33 minutes Bangor had the lead. Peter Hoy’s long throw from the left was headed on by Les Davies to Chris Sharp who hit the crossbar and Brewerton was on hand to net the rebound from close range with a well-placed header.
After an hour Caernarfon should have levelled when Lee Furlong pounced on Brewerton’s mistake but his rising effort crashed against the crossbar and was hacked clear.
Bangor were now in attack mode and Guinion pulled off some superb saves from Christian Seargeant and Sharp.
With 12 minutes to go Guinion again saved acrobatically from Sharp.
In the 85th minute City were home and dry. A strong run from Kieran Killackey to the left created gaps in the home defence; he looked to find Sharp on his right and his well-placed curler beat the diving Guinion inside the right post.
In the Caernarfon side was one Ian Dawes, later to become Bangor City manager and now caretaker chief at Tranmere Rovers.

Caernarfon: Lee Guinion, Mark Dermott, Paul Rudkin (Rob Hughes 87), Dave Brookes, Dave Ridler, Tim Grice, Steve Johnston, Lee Furlong, Ian Dawes, Mike Garrity, Jon Humphreys (James Thomas 66).
Bangor: Paul Smith, Dave Swanick, Peter Hoy, Michael Johnston, James Brewerton, Christian Seargeant, Marc Limbert, Michael Walsh, Les Davies (Kevin Lloyd 87), Chris Sharp, Sion Edwards (Kieran Killackey 24).
Attendance: 1027.

2007-08

Bangor City 5 (Walsh 2, Davies, Stott, Beattie)
Caernarfon Town 1 (Jones)
Welsh Premier – Dec 26, 2007

Michael Walsh enjoyed some great moments in Bangor v Cofis derbies

Bangor ripped the old enemy apart at Farrar Road with three goals in the opening 10 minutes before a 700 plus Boxing Day crowd.
The carnage began on five minutes, Ashley Stott’s run and cross inviting a sliding finish from Les Davies.
Late arrivals who had missed the first goal nearly did so with the second as Bangor doubled the lead inside a minute. Peter Hoy placed Sion Edwards’ corner for Stott to crash home from point blank range.
Most people were in the ground by now and the blues fans were in raptures on nine minutes when a third goal ended the contest. A Christian Seargeant free-kick was nodded down by Davies and first to react was midfielder Mike Walsh, who beat the hesitant Craig Vernon from close range once more.
The gap could have been much wider than 3-0 at half time.
Not everyone had taken their seats in the stand when things got worse for the visitors. Edwards played a one two with Martin Beattie who slid home from six yards before the Farrar End – his first goal for the club.
On 53 minutes, it was 5-0. Marc Limbert continued his supply of crosses from the right for Walsh to convert at the near post.
Current Holyhead Hotspur striker Mel McGinness came on as a sub for Bangor.
Five minutes from time Caernarfon finally pulled one back when Bobby Jones headed home from six yards.

Bangor: Paul Smith, Peter Hoy, Martin Beattie, Michael Johnston, Lee Webber, Christian Seargeant, Marc Limbert, Michael Walsh, Les Davies (Caio Iwan 86), Ashley Stott, Sion Edwards (Mel McGinness 69).

Caernarfon: Craig Vernon, Mark Harris, Phil Doran, Lee Bamber, James Glendinning, Layton Maxwell, Kieron Quinn, Tim Opajah, John Rowley, James Thomas, Mark Thomas. Subs: Paul Addo, Bobby Jones, Michael Jones.
Attendance: 709.

2006-07

Bangor City 1 (Webber)
Caernarfon Town 0
Welsh Premier – Dec 26, 2006

Lee Webber (back row – fourth right) was the match winner on Boxing Day 2006

A trademark thunderous header from City defender Lee Webber in the final quarter clinched maximum reward for Steve Bleasdale’s side.
With Ricky Evans suspended Bangor pushed Kyle Jacobs into midfield alongside Mike Walsh, recent signing Steve Wynne slotting in at right back with fellow newcomer Michael Parker – 14 years on now a Caernarfon player but most famous for his time at Prestatyn Town – ahead of him on the right wing.
Caernarfon forced the early pace with manager Steve O’Shaughnessy barking out commands from the sideline. First Chris Jones and then John Rowley went close in the opening quarter hour which also yielded three corners.
City had to wait until the half hour for a clear chance. Ashley Stott found Marc Lloyd Williams whose run on goal was stopped short by Paul Pritchard, who ran out of his box to block with his body.
Honours even following a first half which Caernarfon started – but Bangor ended – the stronger.
The second half opened with Rowley forcing a sharp save from Ian Havard and moments later Jon Newell headed wide. Five minutes after the interval Tommy Harrison, impressive against his old club, saw his header cleared off the line by Wynne.
Bangor built up steam and Lloyd Williams looked odds on to score but Pritchard saved well.
Then came a corner which Sion Edwards crossed invitingly for Webber, whose thunderous header left Pritchard without a prayer.

Caernarfon: Paul Pritchard, Ian Owen, Tommy Harrison, Jon Newell, Eifion Jones, Kieron Quinn, Chris Jones, Mark Thomas, Darren Wright, John Rowley, Layton Maxwell. Subs: Gerard Maloney, Ben Heath, Gwyn Peters.
Bangor: Ian Havard, Kyle Jacobs, Martin Beattie, Steve Wynne, Lee Webber, Peter Hoy, Marc Lloyd Williams, Ashley Stott, Michael Parker, Mike Walsh, Sion Edwards. Subs: Paul Hopkins, Paul O’Neill, Mark Smyth, Mel McGinness, Anthony Wilson.
Attendance: 1,007

2005-06

Bangor City 1 (Walsh)
Caernarfon Town 0
Welsh Premier – Dec 26, 2005

Mel Jones was in charge of Bangor when they beat Caernarfon on Boxing Day 2005

Michael Walsh headed home a corner in the 91st minute to clinch Bangor a thrilling and welcome win over relegation-haunted Caernarfon.
For the first time in living memory both sides were watched over by local managers. Bangor lad Mel Jones slept the easiest after his second successive win, while opposite number Waynne Phillips would have been gutted to concede so late.
The first half was end-to-end but the finishing from both sides lacked a cutting edge.
After the break Alex Hay went close for Bangor, while Cofis midfielder Craig Garside tested Andrew Price from distance.
Town’s Dylan Owen, one of the Wrexham old boys, forced Price to save a 25-yard drive.
Caernarfon went even closer on 70 minutes when Lee Jones crossed for John Rowley to turn and fire on goal from point blank range. The ever alert Price was equal to the challenge and pushed the ball away for a corner.
In the final stages of the 90, Caernarfon forced three corners and stretched Bangor’s defence – most notably Martin Beattie – to the limit.
A minute into the three of stoppage time City won their ninth corner on the right. Seventeen year old sub Ben Ogilvy crossed and Walsh headed home!

Bangor: Andrew Price, Martin Beattie, Kyle Jones, Kenny Burgess, Paul O’Neill, Michael Walsh, Chris Priest, Layton Maxwell, Paul Roberts, Alex Hay, Carl Lamb. Subs: Ben Ogilvy, Mike Burke, Darren Gowans.
Caernarfon: Paul Pritchard, Waynne Phillips, Jim McNulty, Kenny Irons, Eifion Jones, Dan March, Lee Jones, Craig Garside, John Rowley, Steve Watkin, Dylan Owen. Subs: Jason Sadler, Robbie Williams, Marcus Orlik.
Attendance: 701.

2004/05

Caernarfon Town 2 (Jones pen, Bird)
Bangor City 1 (L Davies)
Welsh Premier – Dec 27, 2004

Former Wrexham star Lee Jones brought some quality to the Caernarfon Town attack (Photo by Matthew Ashton/EMPICS via Getty Images)

Bangor paid a high price for failing to convert their chances as Caernarfon snatched all three points at The Oval.
Man of the match was undoubtedly Canaries keeper David Walsh, who denied the visitors time and again with his brilliance.
Walsh produced heroics from the early stages, producing a great stop from Tony Gray.
The Cofis glovesman was to foil Gray twice more in the opening quarter.
The one-way traffic halted briefly then as Clayton Blackmore’s back-pass hit a divot and avoided Richard Acton’s attempted clearance but City’s number one chased back and scrambled the ball out for a corner.
On 55 minutes City finally went ahead. Simon Davies collected a ball down the left flank off Paul Roberts, who nutmegged Hobson. The former Welsh international crossed to the back post where Les Davies netted with a clean header.
However, catastrophe followed for the hosts on 62 minutes as Phil Baker was adjudged to have fouled Lee Jones inside the Bangor box. Referee Kevin Parry cheered the locals with a double whammy – red card and penalty. Lee Jones stepped up to convert the spot kick with his first touch of the game.
Jones was revitalised and struck the upright before Acton made a fine save at his near post from a close range shot.
Davies was now operating upfront in a reshuffled Bangor line up, but saw his shot cannon off the post.
On 84 minutes Caernarfon won a free kick 30 yards out and Michael Bird sent a well struck shot over Acton into the roof of the Bangor net for the winner. This was not actually played on December 26, but Caernarfon victories in this feature are otherwise non-existent, so it seems only right to mention it.


Bangor: Richard Acton, Clayton Blackmore, Kevin Scott, Eifion Jones, Phil Baker, Simon Davies, Mark Connolly, Owain Jones, Paul Roberts, Tony Gray, Les Davies. Subs: Chris Short, Frank Mottram, Gareth Williams, Morgan Jones
Caernarfon: Walsh, Phillips, Orlik, Chalk, Hobson, McNulty, Peters, Williams, Jones, Bird, Thomas. Subs: Evans, Hogg, Redshaw.

2003/04

Caernarfon Town 4 (Rodgers, Watkin 3, 1 pen)
Bangor City 5 (Goodall, P Roberts 3, Jefferies)
Welsh Premier – Dec 26, 2003

Paul Roberts was a hat-trick hero at The Oval. Pic: Mike Smith

One of the greatest Boxing Day derbies ever between these two foes? Surely so.
Around 800 fans, a slippery pitch, nine goals and not a dirty tackle all game.
City took the lead on six minutes when skipper Alan Goodall drilled a right footer past Ian Willcock from 18 yards.
After 23 minutes it was 2-0 as Ross Jefferies ran down the middle, enjoyed a lucky bounce but kept his composure to supply strike partner Paul Roberts, who tapped home from close range.
On the half hour the balance of play swung back towards the home side as Carl Rodgers slid home from five yards to cut the deficit.
With 10 minutes of the half remaining Caernarfon won their first corner off Warren Gibbs which the tall postman headed then clear. It had been an impressive return for the 26 year old Bangor lad who generally stuck to his task of marking the elusive Steve Watkin with relish.
In the closing minutes Aled Rowlands drew a superb save from Willcock with a left footed drive from 20 yards.
Half Time: 1-2
Five minutes into the second half it was all-square as Watkin scored from eight yards.
Bangor went ahead once more within two minutes. Goodall combined well with Jefferies and Roberts made it 3-2 with a powerful drive past Willcock.
Chances fell at both ends before City had a 69th minute goal to celebrate. A sliced defensive clearance appeared to strike Willcock in the face and fall invitingly to Jefferies, who crashed home the loose ball.
It became 5-2 in the 81st minute when Les Davies charged clear and set up Roberts for his hat-trick.
City fans celebrated, anticipating a certain victory and a handful of home supporters trooped off to the club.
They should have stayed put! On 83 minutes Watkin struck from the penalty spot after a harsh handball decision against Eifion Jones.
In the last minute it was 5-4 as Watkin’s shot span up and over Lee Williams to the horror of the blue horde, but that was the end of the scoring.

Caernarfon: Ian Willcock, Paul Roberts, Mike Maloney, Mark Antrobus, Tim Brandreth, Leigh Williams, Carl Rodgers, Waynne Phillips, Steve Watkin, Calvin Davies, Chris Moores. Subs: Danny McGoona, Lloyd Roberts, Ryan Harden.
Bangor City: Lee Williams, Peter Hoy, Alan Goodall, Eifion Jones, Aled Rowlands, Warren Gibbs, Kenny Burgess, Les Davies, Paul Roberts, Ross Jefferies, Clayton Blackmore. Subs: Rhys Roberts, Gary Roberts, Huw Griffiths.

2002/03

Bangor City 3 (Jefferies, Hunt 2)
Caernarfon Town 1 (Mottram)
Welsh Premier – Dec 26, 2002

Lee Hunt in past action for Bala Town

With the prolific Marc Lloyd Williams watching from the touchline twin strikers Ross Jefferies and Lee Hunt scored the goals which clinched victory for City.
The hosts were on top from the start, Kenny Burgess going closest when hitting the post.
Hunt forced a good save from Ian Willcock before City finally went ahead on the stroke of half time.
Burgess took the ball at pace and set up Jefferies, who netted from 12 yards.
Caernarfon started the brighter in the second period and Phil Priestley did well to thwart Dan Barton whose clean run on goal ended in a goal kick.
But on 50 minutes Frank Mottram latched onto a through ball from Carl Rodgers to fire hard and low past Priestley to level the scores.
On the hour Ricky Evans, a massive presence in the Bangor engine room, blasted a rocket which struck the inside of the post.
Priestley then mishit a clearance but made a wonderful save to keep out a Rodgers drive from more than 25 yards.
In the 75th minute City regained the lead. Hunt fired a remarkable overhead kick past Wilcox from 15 yards with the visitors defence bemused.
In injury time Hunt grabbed his second when Evans worked the ball back from the dead-ball line to set up a close range tap in.

Bangor City: Phil Priestley, Owain Jones, Alan Goodall, Eifion Jones, Aled Rowlands, Chris Short, Lee Hunt, Ricky Evans, Ross Jefferies, Simon Davies, Kenny Burgess. Subs: Anthony Fenton, Chris Moores, Gareth Williams
Caernarfon: Willcock, Roberts, Millington, Hogg, Brandreth, Tamm, Peters, Rogers, Barton, Mottram, Williams, Subs: Smyth, Pyrs, Towey.

2001/02

Bangor City 3 (Roberts, Lloyd Williams 2)
Caernarfon Town 3 (Barton 2, Mutton)
Welsh Premier – Dec 26, 2001

Marc Lloyd Williams. Pic: Mike Smith

The Citizens fought back from 2-0 and 3-2 behind to grab a share of the spoils in which referee Chris Bodenham sent off three players.
Bangor defender Huw Griffiths was first to go after reportedly head-butting an opponent following a 10th-minute melee in the visitors goalmouth in which Marc Lloyd Williams was clearly pushed.
The game immediately swayed to the City box and Danny Barton headed Caernarfon ahead in the 15th minute.
No sooner had the shouting died down than Caernarfon’s Tony Smith became the second justifiable dismissal when his late lunge on recalled right-back Steve Cooper again raised the noise level and temperature.
Two minutes later, Barton did it again, running through to beat Priestley despite a suspicion of offside.
With Bangor fans roaring the blues forward Paul Roberts underlined his reputation as one of the most consistent strikers in the league with a much needed goal to close to gap to 2-1.
City rallied and had the better of the closing stages. Marc Lloyd Williams was clear but failed to convert.
After the interval the Citizens continued to press and Lloyd Williams, who was to score 47 league goals this season, equalised on the hour to the delight of the home crowd.
But within 10 minutes the visitors again went ahead with more controversy. Barton ran through but his shot was parried by Priestley to the previously offside Tommy Mutton, who was allowed to tap in!
The second Caernarfon man to be sent off, Danny Jellicoe, was dispatched for a second yellow after a clash with Lloyd Williams, which seemed a little harsh. Lloyd Williams stepped up on 68 minutes up to convert a free kick which slipped under visiting keeper Steve Skupski.
Both sides had their chances to seal it, Cooper had to clear off the line for City, but overall in difficult conditions a draw was probably about right.

City: Phil Priestley, Owain Tudur Jones, Alan Goodall, Steve Cooper, Aled Rowlands, Huw Griffiths, Marc Lloyd Williams, Clayton Blackmore, Paul Roberts, Simon Davies, Kenny Burgess. Subs: Chris Short, Aled Jones, Paul Sellars.
Caernarfon: Steve Skupski, Emrys Williams, Scott Millington, Danny Jellicoe, Mark Antrobus, Leigh Williams, Ryan Baker, Tony Smith, Danny Barton, Tommy Mutton, Gwyn Peters. Subs: Tim Brandreth, Jason Sadler, Mick Moore.

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