Rhyl 2 (Moran pen 47, Wilson 78)
Bangor City 0
Welsh Cup Final – May 7, 2006
Fifteen years ago today Rhyl FC lifted the Welsh Cup for the fourth time in their history after beating arch rivals Bangor 2-0 in a final watched by 1,743 spectators at the Racecourse Ground in Wrexham.
How the first 45 minutes remained goalless must have mystified Lilywhites boss John Hulse as his side carved a handful of clear cut openings wasted mainly by Andy Moran.
Greg Stones headed wide from a deep cross from Stuart Graves whilst Moran drove over and wide in the opening exchanges.
City weathered the storm and Paul Roberts fired on target from long range, then young student Mike Linnecar tested keeper John Gann, who was relieved to push behind as the ball arrowed towards the top right hand corner.
Roberts then ran past three of the big Rhyl defenders, but shot tamely at the diminutive Gann.
Moran unsettled City but again slashed his effort wide when well placed.
Neither side managed to play much constructive football in a first half which saw the ball given away too easily and both sides looking for the long clearance.
Within two minutes of the restart the major talking point of the afternoon emerged. A long hopeful ball down the left caught Clayton Blackmore in two minds and allowed Moran in on the left.
His low cross struck Paul O’Neill on the right arm. Penalty.
Was it ball-to-hand? It looked a poor decision and one which saw City trailing 1-0 as Moran duly netted from the spot.
To make matters much worse for the Citizens, Chris Priest was dismissed for dissent in contesting the decision.
Player-manager Blackmore re-organised by switching to a 3-4-2 formation and pushed Kyle Jones into midfield. Versatile left-footer Martin Beattie and O’Neill worked overtime to keep the Lilywhites at bay.
Rhyl used the extra space although City fought hard and played some reasonable football. Roberts turned and fired goalwards but saw his shot blocked by Timmy Edwards.
On 78 minutes it was 2-0 and game over. Another cross from Graves found Gareth Wilson alone in the box and his unstoppable strike beat Ian Havard from 12 yards.
City fans sensed the inevitable but were literally handed a lifeline when George Horan palmed a ball high over his head for a penalty kick on 87 minutes.
To round off a rueful day, Roberts blasted over into the Eric Roberts Stand to the dismay of the noisy blue contingent.
Rhyl: John Gann, Mark Connolly (Marc Limbert 88), Stuart Graves (Chris Adamson 82), Greg Stones, George Horan, Timmy Edwards, Gareth Wilson, Andy Moran, Lee Hunt (Chris Sharp 84), Mark Powell, James Brewerton. Subs: Chris Adamson, Chris Sharp, Marc Limbert.
Bangor City: Ian Havard, Clayton Blackmore, Martin Beattie, Kyle Jones, Paul O’Neill, Kieran Killackey, Mike Linnecar, Chris Priest, Paul Roberts, Carl Lamb, Carl Jones. Subs: Layton Maxwell, Mike Burke, Ben Ogilvy.