Aberystwyth Town 0
Bangor City 2 (Roberts 56, Cooper 65)
League of Wales – April 24, 2001
Twenty years ago this week an entertaining clash at Park Avenue between two committed sides saw Bangor emerge deserved winners.
City’s defence, built around the towering Sean Hazelden, stood firm with the quietly impressive Paul Sellers and Clayton Blackmore also standing out.
The visitors also did well in midfield, where the tenacious Matthew Bishop tackled for his life alongside Rhodri Giggs and Aled Rowlands.
The Valley lad ran at and past his opposite number time after time, whilst Giggs worked hard at denying Glyndwr Hughes time and space.
City might have gone ahead in the fifth minute when a rare wayward pass from Nigel Nicholas was intercepted by Rowlands, who ran through but shot too close to keeper Jason Matthews.
A couple of minutes later Marc Lloyd Williams hit a clean strike from 25 yards again comfortable for the keeper.
Any nerves the visitors might have had were dispelled as Hazelden won a number of aerial duels with the impressive Paul Evans, whilst the lively Glyndwr Hughes was largely contained by some hard work and tackling.
Aberystwyth’s attack included ex-Wolves midfielder Steve Mardenborough, whose only league goal for the Midlands club was the winner in a Division One clash at Liverpool in 1983-84.
Mardenbrough, who made more than 300 Football League appearances but was 36 when facing Bangor, was largely ineffective on this day. He would eventually play for nine Welsh Premier clubs.
Paul Roberts and Lloyd Williams again had chances but to no avail, then on 20 minutes Paul Evans saved well from Hughes on the right.
Just before the interval Lloyd Williams raced down the left and crossed for Giggs, whose header sailed narrowly wide.
At the other end Paul Evans slipped his marker to send a header off target.
Bangor began the second half positively.
Giggs showed excellent control to race clear on the right, cut inside and shoot across goal.
Moments later Lloyd Williams shot at Matthews from 25 yards.
The deadlock was broken on 56 minutes Roberts took a pass from Lloyd Williams to confidently beat the exposed Matthews from the edge of the box.
Next Rowlands created a wonderful opening for Lloyd Williams but his shot went wide from 10 yards.
In the 65th minute another cross from Rowlands on the left arrived at the feet of Steve Cooper, the current Swansea City manager, who composed himself before dispatching a low drive past Matthews.
Moments later the tiring Giggs was replaced by Mark Thomas who added his considerable presence to the midfield battle.
As time started to run out Craig Roberts replaced the exhausted Bishop with Lloyd Williams unselfishly dropping into midfield. The dependable no-nonsense Richard Owen also stood firm as Glyndwr Hughes tried to run down the right channel.
Aberystwyth created half chances and kept playing, but City deservedly held on and picked up three priceless points.
Aberystwyth: Jason Matthews, Chris Hammond, Gary Finlay, Gavin O’Toole, Stephen Pope, Gari Lewis, Glyndwr Hughes, Nigel Nicholas, Paul Evans, Steve Mardenbrough, Mark Gornall. Subs: Aneurin Thomas, Andrew Caree, Jon Tappin.
Bangor: Paul Evans, Steve Cooper, Clayton Blackmore, Sean Hazleden, Paul Sellers, Richard Owen, Marc Lloyd Williams, Matthew Bishop, Paul Roberts, Rhodri Giggs, Aled Rowlands, Subs: Craig Roberts, Mark Thomas, Terry Boyle.