Bangor City 1 (Garside 66)
The New Saints 0
Welsh Premier League – April 30, 2011
The last truly great day in Bangor City’s history took place on this date 10 years ago.
The Citizens won their first Welsh Premier title for 15 years thanks to a second home defeat of reigning champions TNS.
And in the final analysis City’s ability to take seven points compared to four in their league encounters was the difference between the two sides.
With TNS two points cleat at the summit before kick off, they needed just a draw to secure another league championship. Only a win would do for second-place Bangor.
With Farrar Road packed on a bright sunny day it was Bangor who started the better with Les Davies dragging an early shot wide.
Former blue Chris Sharp missed from distance for the visitors, then Dave Morley ballooned over after a good pass from Davies to cap a fine passing move.
The first save of the game from Paul Smith came after Craig Jones’ inswinging cross from the left threatened to dip under the crossbar.
On the half hour Phil Baker dived in on Alan Bull near the corner flag and was promptly yellow carded.
In the 35th minute Chris Jones forced a great save from Paul Harrison with a low drive after good work on the left by Davies.
The final moment of the first period belonged to TNS as Craig Jones drove on target from the right after some indifferent defending, but in reality his shot lacked spite or power.
At the interval there was a migration of hundreds of blues fans from the St Paul’s to the Farrar End, City attacking with the wind at their backs.
On the hour City built up some pressure through a Peter Hoy long throw and Chris Jones corner but Craig Garside headed high over at the back post.
Minutes later another long throw and Chris Jones fired on target but Harrison saved. Bull nearly latched onto a loose back-pass from Baker but failed to make contact.
The game was decided on the 66-minute mark. First, a long hard season caught up with Baker who sat down in the box before limping off to be replaced by the diminutive Barry Hogan.
A Bangor throw in was due and in it came – courtesy of Hoy – for Morley to head on and Garside to slide home from close range. Relief and delight swept Farrar Road in equal measure.
With 15 minutes to go Sharp’s shot tested Smith but he gathered thanks to Chris Roberts’ presence.
Bad news quickly followed as Garside landed awkwardly and left the field on a stretcher. Clive Williams galloped on to take up his midfield berth. Credit the youngster for a determined display in the time remaining.
Nick Ward ran down the left, crossed in to Davies, whose lay-off found Morley but his side-footer flew over.
City went close again as Morley’s header was cleared off the line before Bull hooked his effort wide.
Last-minute changes saw Sion Edwards and Eddie Jebb come on for Bull and Jones.
Five minutes were added, but City held firm and with one loud blast of his whistle referee Dean John set loose loud celebrations. Champions!
Bangor City: Paul Smith, Peter Hoy, Chris Roberts, Dave Morley, Darren Moss, Michael Johnston, Chris Jones (Eddie Jebb 90), Craig Garside (Clive Williams 75), Les Davies, Nicky Ward, Alan Bull (Sion Edwards 89). Subs not used: Michael Jukes, Tom Dix.
The New Saints: Paul Harrison, Danny Holmes, Chris Marriott, Phil Baker (Barry Hogan 66), Aeron Edwards, Christian Seargeant (Alex Darlington 83), Scott Ruscoe, Connell Rawlinson, Chris Sharp, Richie Partridge (Matt Berkeley 68), Craig Jones. Unused sub: Marcus Giglio.