Flashback – 10 years ago: Bangor hit back from 3-1 down to win cup classic

Les Davies (left) made it 4-3 to Bangor City in a 2011 Welsh Cup classic. Picture: Dai Sinclair

Bangor City 5 (Dave Morley 12, Michael Jukes 69, Les Davies 74, Alan Bull 75, Darren Moss 90+3)
Haverfordwest County 3 (Neil Thomas 52, Jamie Bradford 56, James Christopher 67)
Welsh Cup fourth round – February 5, 2011

Chasing a fourth successive Welsh Cup trophy success, Bangor fought back from 3-1 down in the second half to claim a thrilling victory over Haverfordwest at Farrar Road on this weekend 10 years ago.

Having hammered the west Walians 6-0 at home in a league encounter a month earlier, the Citizens were strong favourites to repeat the dose, but the second installment was a different story.

The fact this tie kicked off was due almost entirely to a small army of volunteers who answered the call – pitchforks, wellies and all – to help prepare the pitch.

Along with the ever-industrious Mike Fraser the groundman, they set the scene for an eight-goal thriller.

With a strong wind at their backs City set off attacking the St Paul’s End where 20 or so hardy home supporters took a battering, but it was the visitors who carved the first opening on five minutes as Jack Christopher ran clear on the right but slid a low shot wide.

Bangor got on top and a corner from the right saw Les Davies and Alan Bull have shots blocked before a Nicky Ward free kick was slotted home by Dave Morley from 10 yards.

By now the pitch was cutting up visibly but both sides showed a determination to play and overcome both conditions underfoot plus the wind and rain.

Openings ensued at either end, but there was no further score before the break.

Half-time: Bangor 1 Haverfordwest 0

There was nothing in the first half to indicate how the second would go, but go it did!

Driven forward by the wet gusting wind, County pressed for an equaliser which duly arrived on 52 minutes.

Keeper Paul Smith could not hold a low shot from the right and watched in despair as Neil Thomas netted Christopher’s cross from close range.

Four minutes later County scored again as Jamie Bradford headed home a cross from the right.

Manager Neville Powell had seen enough and duly sent on reinforcements in the shape of newcomers Darren Moss and Michael Jukes with Craig Garside and Chris Jones coming off.

Blues followers held their breath as Thomas was felled by keeper Smith in the left-back position. Yellow card, not red, relief all round.

But things got worse as Haverfordwest stole a 3-1 lead on 67 minutes when Christopher side-footed home from close in.

Two minutes later Bangor pulled one back as Jukes turned Ward’s right wing cross between keeper Duncan Roberts and the near post.

A final roll of the dice from Powell saw Eddie Jebb on for a weary Clive Williams as City adopted a 3-4-3 formation.

The signs were good on 74 minutes as Kyle Graves lost the ball and Davies was allowed to turn and shoot right-footed past Roberts.

Within seconds Smith saved well from Christopher before the hosts made it three goals in six minutes and edged ahead.

Davies charged down the left and squared to Bull, who somehow slotted home without breaking stride to complete an amazing turnaround.

County were far from dead and buried. Evans waltzed through but saw his rising drive pushed over by Smith.

Haver pushed for an equaliser but the purposeful Michael Johnston produced some fine defending.

On the 90, four added minutes were signalled.

Groans all round, but no need as three minutes in Davies rumbled goalwards on the right, Roberts saved his low shot, but Darren Moss capped a fine debut with a calm finish which ended the contest.

The result made it 20 straight Welsh Cup wins under the stewardship of Powell.

Bangor: Paul Smith, Clive Williams (Eddie Jebb 70), Chris Roberts, Dave Morley, James Brewerton, Craig Garside (Darren Moss 63), Chris Jones (Michael Jukes 63), Alan Bull, Les Davies, Nicky Ward, Michael Johnston.
Attendance: 413.

Many thanks to Mike Smith of the Citizens Choice for the match report

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