Rhyl 3 (John Owen 28 & 68; Rob Hughes 71)
Bangor City 4 (Sam Hart pen 50, Mike Elstone 82, Rio Ahmadi 88 & 90+1)
Welsh Premier League – March 19, 2016
Substitute Rio Ahmadi’s decider a minute into added time sealed a thrilling win for Bangor at their arch rivals five years ago today.
City trailed 3-1 with eight minutes of the 90 left, but Ahmadi’s late double completed a marvellous turnaround.
There was an early scare for the Lilywhites as Chay Dysart sliced his clearance but keeper Terry McCormick pounced on the spinning ball.
Then former blues striker John Owen raced clear but lifted the ball over Connor Roberts and out for a goal-kick.
On six minutes a yellow card for Dysart when he should clearly have seen red for a last man foul on Steve Lewis on the edge of the box. Sam Hart fired the free kick goalwards but Greg Stones blocked and Steve Lewis headed just wide from the return cross.
More controversy then as Shaun Cavanagh squared to Lewis who tapped home only to be wrongly flagged for offside.
Both teams struggled to play on the inconsistent surface with perhaps Rhyl’s Danny Gosset and City’s Shaun Cavanagh the two who adapted best in the early stages.
On 20 minutes Greg Stones headed over before Mike Elstone played in Lewis but his goalbound shot was blocked.
The deadlock was finally broken on 28 minutes as John Owen pounced on a hurried clearance from Rob Hughes’ shot to put the home side in front.
The Citizens aimed to hit back from a free kick 25 yards out which Sam Hart fired for the top right hand corner but McCormick pulled off a great one-handed save to deny the reliable left-footer an equaliser.
As time ran out midfielder Gosset turned and curled a right footer from the edge of the box which crashed against the Bangor crossbar to the relief of those in blue.
Half-time: Rhyl 1 Bangor 0
The first meaningful action of the second half saw Dysart (already booked) foul Lewis in the box for a Bangor penalty.
Up stepped Hart to send McCormick the wrong way and level the scores on 50 minutes.
On the hour Lewis charged through on the right but dragged his shot wide. Then Rhyl’s Rob Hughes shot on target but Roberts saved easily.
Leon Clowes did well to deny Connor Bell before Owen forced a good save from Roberts.
In the 68th minute Roberts could do nothing when Owen unleashed a rising left-footer which flashed into the top corner from just outside the box.
And they doubled that advantage three minutes later as Rob Hughes fired home low from the edge of the box. Game over at 3-1 to Rhyl?
Not quite. Almost unnoticed in between the two strikes blues substitute Ahmadi trotted on in place of the impressive Cavanagh.
Eight minutes remained when Young’s long throw from the right unsettled McCormick and Elstone drilled the loose ball home from 10 yards to halve the deficit.
With three minutes left Bangor drew level. City won the ball in midfield and Ahmadi latched onto Anthony Miley’s header to thrash the ball beyond McCormick.
The drama continued as sub Christian Langos and Elstone combined for Ahmadi to grab his second and more importantly Bangor’s fourth one minute into added time. Advantage Bangor.
With one minute of the four added still to play another twist as the floodlights failed. With the stadium in darkness for a couple of minutes the general consensus was the result – the scoreline – would stand but this became irrelevant as the lights flickered back to life.
Before the restart Bangor sent on defender Iolo Hughes for Elstone, who had enjoyed a fine 90 minutes.
A long overdue Rhyl free kick from halfway was duly delivered into the Bangor box but the City defence, for whom Leon Clowes had been outstanding, cleared and finally the whistle blew.
Five years on, one of these great clubs has lost its Welsh Premier status and another does not exist at all as we knew it. Sad reflections….
Rhyl: Terry McCormick, Luke Benson, Chay Dysart, Levi Mackin, Luke Fitzpatrick, Mike Walsh, Danny Gosset (Zak Corbett 90), Greg Stones, John Owen, Connor Bell, Rob Hughes (Ibou Touray 81).
Bangor: Connor Roberts, Adam Cummins, Sam Hart, Leon Clowes, Ashley Young, Anthony Miley, Shaun Cavanagh (Rio Ahmadi 71), Damien Allen, Steve Lewis, Mike Elstone (Iolo Hughes 90), Sion Edwards (Christian Langos 74).