The New Saints 2 (Partridge 9, Edwards 38)
Bangor City 2 (Bull 28, Morley pen 51)
Welsh Premier League – January 18, 2011
Welsh Premier leaders Bangor were unfortunate not to take all three points against the champions 10 years ago today at Park Hall.
Settling the quicker the home side opened brightly and might have gone ahead with Matthew Berkerley and Craig Jones menacing before Nicky Ward lashed wide for the Citizens.
On nine minutes TNS opened their account when winger Jones ran down the right, cut inside and crossed to the far post for Richie Partridge to beat Paul Smith from close range.
After 15 minutes it got worse for City as Peter Hoy was forced off with a groin strain with Clive Williams coming on. Happily for the blues the 20-year-old replacement was outstanding.
Following a weak opening 10 minutes Les Davies worked his way into the game and Bangor got to grips but Berkerley still posed a threat for the counter attack minded greens, galloping clear before drilling wide.
The visitors won a throw on the left some 20 yards out which Chris Roberts delivered but Davies’ header looped onto the roof of the net.
On 28 minutes Bangor were level. Morley sent Chris Jones clear on the right and he crossed for Alan Bull to slot beyond the despairing Paul Harrison.
Ten minutes later another mazy run from the elusive Jones resulted in a shot Smith could not hold and Aeron Edwards netted from the left.
The noisy blue contingent among the 500-strong crowd stayed positive and Bangor were still very much in the game as the unsettled Harrison was booked for kicking the ball over the tea bar.
Bangor had a head of steam and Jones’ deep corner dropped to Garside but the midfield maestro blasted over.
Davies and Bull were by now blossoming as a partnership and coming to terms with the unforgiving surface and chilly conditions.
Half-time: TNS 2 Bangor City 1
Five minutes after the restart City threatened and a desperate Danny Holmes wrestled Bull to the floor as he ran clear on the edge of the box. Referee Lee Evans had little choice and produced a straight red.
From the free kick Davies drilled a low shot through the wall, Bull lashed goalwards and in the melee Edwards clearly handled as he lay on the deck.
Penalty, and surely another red? But referee Evans rightly adjudged that the ball was not goalbound and despite the deliberate nature of the offence a yellow card was suffice.
Cool and calm Morley potted the spot kick with ease and the blue horde was literally dancing with delight.
Both Davies and Morley went close within a few minutes. Garside was starting to run the show and he drew the attention of Berkerley whose late challenge deservedly drew a yellow card.
In the closing quarter Morley fired over and James Brewerton was in the thick of the defensive action as TNS saw two shots blocked at close range in quick succession
Jones and Davies had further efforts for the travellers, but 10-man TNS looked dangerous on the break.
One final chance for City saw Davies and Bull set up Garside who just failed to keep his shot down from six yards.
The added four minutes were marred by a wild two-footed lunge from Craig Jones which left Garside poleaxed and should have seen the home side with nine – and what might easily have been eight – men for the final minute.
So the final whistle blew at 2-2 which might just have left Nev Powell with a touch of disappointment but made sure his spirited Bangor side enter the final run of 10 matches with an advantage of at least four points.
The New Saints: Paul Harrison, Danny Holmes, Chris Marriott, Phil Baker, Scott Ruscoe, Matthew Williams (Barry Hogan 66), Craig Jones, Christian Seargeant, Aeron Edwards, Richie Partridge (Chris Sharp 47), Matthew Berkerley.
Bangor City: Paul Smith, Peter Hoy (Clive Williams 16), Chris Roberts, Dave Morley, James Brewerton, Michael Johnston, Craig Garside (Eddie Jebb 90), Chris Jones, Les Davies, Nicky Ward, Alan Bull.