Flashback: Bangor City do Welsh Premier proud in Europe again (2010)

Alan Bull gave Bangor City the lead against Maritimo at Wrexham

Bangor City 1 (Bull 10)
CS Maritimo 2 (Adilson 47, Marquinho 57)
Uefa Europa League third qualifying round – August 5, 2010

(AGGREGATE 3-10)

Today marks the 11th anniversary of another occasion where Bangor City gave a good account of themselves in Europe.

Neville Powell’s Welsh Cup holders led 1-0 at half time against Portugal’s Maritimo only to concede twice in the second period and narrowly lose the game.

However, the second leg clash at the Racecourse in Wrexham was largely academic as City had been whipped 8-2 at the Estadio da Madeira seven days earlier.

Even that encounter had its highlights for the Welsh Premier underdogs, with substitute Nicky Ward scoring a marvellous goal and Eddie Jebb also on the mark.

The scoreline slightly flattered the hosts, who had qualified for the Europa League via finishing fifth in the Primeira Liga in 2009-10, as they led the Citizens just 3-1 before scoring five goals in the last 15 minutes. And the visitors had been reduced to 10 men after defender James Brewerton was sent off just before half time.

Bangor had entered the Europa League third qualifying round Maritimo adventure on a real high after knocking out FC Honka of Finland 3-2 on aggregate in the previous stage. It was only the second time in their history that City had won a tie in Europe.

The Portuguese may have not been the best their country could offer, but they were still full-time professionals whose squad included a number of quality Brazilians.

Former Maritimo players included ex-Wolverhampton Wanderers and England striker John Richards, a true Molineux legend of the 1970’s, and Northern Ireland centre-back Colin Hill, who served Arsenal and Leicester City in the 1980’s and 90’s.

The match – August 5, 2010

The first half at the Racecourse saw Bangor produce some tremendous defending with lionheart keeper Paul Smith once more the stand-out performer.

The visitors carved out the first opening on four minutes when Luciano Amarel crossed from the left and Brazilian Tcho’s stooping header flew straight at Smith.

Slick passing from Maritimo then saw Tcho release Marquinho, whose firm shot was pushed behind for a corner.

But there was a shock in store for the Madeirans on nine minutes when Sion Edwards’ brilliant free-kick from the right was headed in by Alan Bull to edge the Welsh Premier side in front on the night.

Powell’s side were really buzzing and caused the away defence headaches from Peter Hoy’s long throws and a Jebb corner, before Ward’s superb left-foot strike from 20 yards flew just over.

Smith showed his worth once more when he went down smartly at his right-hand post to keep out a goalbound Tcho free-kick.

The impressive keeper then did well again to palm out a Danilo Dias left-footer before denying the same player from close range.

On 34 minutes Maritimo looked certs to score when Baba Diawara lifted the ball over the City defence and put Danilo in on goal, but his rolled effort came back off the inside of the post and Bangor cleared the follow-up danger.

A lucky bounce off Michael Johnston again put Danilo clear two minutes before the interval but once more Smith excelled.

It could have been 2-0 moments later when Hoy and Chris Roberts got in each other’s way trying to finish off an Edwards free-kick with the Maritimo defence out of the equation.

Half-time: Bangor City 1 Maritimo 0

City needed to maintain the status quo through the early stages of the second half to frustrate the travellers, but sadly in just the third minute Danilo’s neat pass allowed Adilson the simplest of tasks to equalise and make it 9-3 on aggregate.

Bangor bravely sought a second goal but were caught short on 58 minutes when Maritimo keeper Marcelo gathered a Hoy throw and hurled the ball out to Marquinho, who outpaced Johnston down the left and lashed beyond Smith.

The City glovesman was back to his defiant best soon after, though, when Marquinho beat the offside trap but Smith blocked brilliantly at his feet.

The pace of the Portuguese on the break was telling again on 65 minutes when Adilson’s lay back teed up Marquinho who crudely blasted over from six yards.

Clive Williams’ fabulous last-gasp tackle denied Dylan Duventru and Smith was glad to grasp the ball on the ground from Diawara’s close range flick.

Typically, City battled to the end and Chris Jones had a chance to level it on 87 minutes but volleyed over.

Perhaps Bangor’s players may have felt a little down after the 10-3 aggregate defeat, but a few months later there were wild celebrations in the camp after the Citizens landed their first Welsh Premier title in 16 years.

Bangor City: Paul Smith, Peter Hoy, Dave Morley (c), Michael Johnston, Chris Roberts, Craig Garside (Matty Hurdman 67), Nicky Ward, Alan Bull, Sion Edwards (Clive Williams 77), Eddie Jebb (Les Davies 66), Chris Jones.
Subs not used: Andy Mulliner, Marc Limbert, John Owen.

Maritimo: Marcelo, Briguel, Joao Guilherme, Luciano Amaral, Robson, Tcho, Rafael Miranda, Danilo Dias (Luis Olim 63), Adilson (Fidelis 72), Marquinho (Duventru-Huret 80), Baba Diawara.
Subs: Pecanha, Alonso, Esteves, Roberto Sousa.

Referee: Mihaly Fabian (Hungary)

Attendance: 556

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