Bangor City 2 (Carl Lamb 63, Paul Roberts 88)
The New Saints 3 (Jamie Wood 3, Steve Beck 5, Marc Lloyd Williams 40)
Welsh Premier League – January 22, 2006
Clayton Blackmore’s first match in charge of Bangor City ended in narrow defeat at the hands of TNS 15 years ago today.
With departures and injuries affecting preparation, new boss Blackmore introduced two new faces.
Left-footer Tommy Harrison came off the bench on the half hour but 20 year old midfielder Kieran Killackey started in central midfield as a direct replacement for Paul Friel, who had moved to Porthmadog.
Before the fresh recruits had time to settle City were two-nil down and staring down the barrel of a high scoring defeat to the league’s only full time club.
Former Swansea striker Jamie Wood put the visitors in front from Nicky Ward’s left wing cross on three minutes.
After five minutes things got worse as Steve Beck latched onto a misplaced clearance to drive beyond Andrew Price.
On 10 minutes Bangor thought they had pulled one back when Paul Roberts caught TNS goal keeper Gerard Doherty off his line and sent a 40 yard chip towards the unguarded net.
But the Irish stopper flew backwards and tipped the ball over to complete a breathtaking save.
The hosts refused to buckle and despite losing Kenny Burgess on the half hour – to allow debutant Harrison onto the field – managed to limit the visitors to one more goal before the interval.
The chance fell, with a sense of inevitability, to ex-City goal machine Marc Lloyd Williams, who turned in another Ward cross from close range.
The home side came out for the second period with the words of ex-Manchester United and Wales defender Blackmore ringing in their ears, but it was the visitors who sent early efforts goalwards in the form of Steve Evans and Wood, who forced saves from Price.
Beck also rattled the crossbar.
Bangor finally retaliated just after the hour mark. A cross from Roberts was headed home by tireless strike partner Carl Lamb to give the blues a sense of hope for a strike timed at 63 minutes.
Into the final 10 and new midfielder Killackey forced a full length save from Doherty with a 30-yard piledriver.
Then with just two minutes remaining Bangor cut the deficit still further as Roberts followed up after his first effort was blocked by Doherty’s legs. City sent Mike Burke on for Lamb who had run himself out.
With the end fast approaching, Bangor might have snatched a late equaliser their second half heroics merited but Mike Walsh fired wide after picking up Layton Maxwell’s pass.
The visitors took the three points to strengthen their near unassailable position at the top of the table.
Bangor City: Andrew Price, Kyle Jones, Martin Beattie, Kieran Killackey, Clayton Blackmore, Chris Priest, Kenny Burgess (Tommy Harrison 30), Layton Maxwell, Paul Roberts, Carl Lamb (Mike Burke 89), Mike Walsh.
The New Saints: Gerard Doherty, Barry Hogan, Nicky Ward, Phil Baker, Steve Evans, Michael Jackson, Scott Ruscoe, Marc Lloyd Williams, John Toner, Steve Beck, Jamie Wood.