In the second of our series on dream debuts in North Wales football we go back to the start of the 1999-2000 season.
Caersws 2 (Lewis 75 & 80)
Bangor City 5 (Roberts 1 & 70; Allen 25, 27 & 60)
League of Wales – August 21, 1999
Striker Gavin Allen marked his Bangor City debut in style with a hat-trick on the opening weekend of the 1999-2000 League of Wales season.
The former Stockport County and Tranmere Rovers prospect had impressed for the Citizens in pre-season and confirmed that promise with a treble at Caersws.
City took the lead on 23 seconds as Paul Roberts confidently converted Lewis Coady’s left wing cross.
On 25 minutes, Aled Rowlands ran clear, cutting in from the left to hit a firm pass to Allen, who netted clinically for 2-0.
Within a couple of minutes Coady, Matthew Cross and Roberts combined to create another good opening for Allen who again finished precisely.
On the hour, left-footed Coady crossed for Allen to complete his hat-trick and make it 4-0.
Ten minutes later Roberts chased a through ball to chip the keeper for his second of the day.
A combination of tiredness and complacency saw Caersws hit back twice through Geraint Lewis in the last 15 minutes, but both were little more than consolation efforts.
City’s line up also included an impressive debutant in the tall No 5 Sean Hazelden.
Bangor: Jason Turner, Mattie Bishop, Matthew Cross, Steve Bird, Sean Hazelden, Aled Rowlands, Robbie Williams, Phil Johnson, Paul Roberts, Gavin Allen, Lewis Coady.
Allen scored 11 league goals and 21 in all competitions that season for Bangor, rounding off the campaign by winning the Welsh Cup with the Citizens, who defeated Cwmbran Town 1-0 in the final at the Racecourse, Wrexham.
The younger brother of former Millwall, Watford, Norwich City, Newcastle United and Wales striker Malcolm, Gavin spent just one season at Farrar Road.
He is a member of the WPL 100 Club, having chalked up 113 goals to lie 24th in the league’s all-time list.
An FAW Pro Licence coach (2020-21), Gavin also played for Carmarthen Town, Caernarfon Town, Barry Town, Penrhyncoch and Aberystwyth Town, where he spent the majority of his career and managed the club before stepping down in December 2020. He is still head of academy at Park Avenue.