Newtown 3 (McCormick 1, Hewitt 9, Wickham 40)
Bangor City 2 (P Roberts 13, Lloyd Williams pen 85)
League of Wales – April 14, 2001
A dismal opening 10 minutes when City let in two soft goals settled this affair, although a strange offside decision ended up as the chief talking point on a bright sunny day in Mid Wales 20 years ago!
Newtown were ahead inside 30 seconds as Gareth Evans sped down the left and fired in a cross which the lanky Steve McCormick was able to flick past Paul Evans from point blank range.
The next moment of truth came on nine minutes when City’s keeper sliced a punch to the edge of the box for Wayne Hewitt to volley home past stationery visiting defenders for 2-0.
But on 13 minutes Paul Roberts reduced the arrears with a telling strike from 15 yards after good approach work from Rhodri Giggs and Marc Lloyd Williams.
McCormick was causing City’s defence problems and winning everything in the air.
Neither centre back seemed quite tight enough and it was no great surprise when Justin Wickham chipped keeper Evans from the right to make it 3-1 on 40 minutes.
The lead was no more than Newtown deserved and – with steadier finishing – it might have been more.
Half-time: Newtown 3 Bangor City 1
At half time Robins left back Gareth Evans was replaced by Phil Bates with Mark Thomas moving to the full-back position.
City perhaps missed a trick in not getting Giggs to pull wide and run at the ineffective little battler; within 15 minutes the winger was replaced by young Craig Roberts.
On 66 minutes City’s Richard Owen came on for Steve Cooper and promptly won two crash tackles on the edge of the Bangor box to inject some bite and verve into the visitors performance.
Within minutes that talking point.
Lloyd Williams skipped past two or three Newtown defenders to plant the ball past Jones. As the ref returned to the middle, and the City fans celebrated the linesman stood with his flag held high. Offside. Which it could not have been.
City were incensed and charged into the attack. Newtown looked unsettled.
With 15 minutes to go Sean Hazleden took the field in place of Paul Sellers and promptly won a couple of emphatic headers which soon led to McCormick’s withdrawal.
On 85 minutes a penalty came when Bates clambered all over Lloyd Williams who got up to convert the chance and reduce the deficit.
Both sides had their opportunities but City fans will wonder how a goalbound effort from Craig Roberts was deflected over.
So 3-2 it finished. Newtown were the better team, but what a strange offside decision to deny Bangor a goal.
Newtown: Danny Jones, John Cottrell, Gareth Evans, Chris Taylor, Mark Thomas, Wayne Hewitt, Justin Wickham, John Leah, Steve McCormick, Mark Williams, Jon Williams. Subs: Phil Bates, Colin Reynolds, Terry Green.
Bangor City: Paul Evans, Graham Brett, Aled Rowlands, Paul Sellers (Sean Hazelden 75), Mark Thomas, Clayton Blackmore, Marc Lloyd Williams, Matthew Bishop, Paul Roberts, Rhodri Giggs (Craig Roberts 60), Steve Cooper (Richard Owen 66).