Match of the Night – Menai Bridge 3 Bethesda 4

Bethesda on the ball. Picture: JONATHAN ERVINE

Eryri Consulting North Wales Coast West Football League Premier Division

Menai Bridge Tigers 3 (Hogan 3, Hughes 23, H Jones 45+5)
Bethesda Athletic 4 (Hartleb 3, O Hughes 47 & 87; S Hughes pen 90+1)

Report and photos: Jonathan Ervine

A Scott Hughes penalty a minute into added time settled a seven-goal thriller in Bethesda’s favour.

In the second minute, Kyle Hartleb opened the scoring for Bethesda after being played into the right side of the penalty area and slotting past the keeper.

Within a minute of going behind, Menai Bridge drew level. Sion Hogan equalised with a fine shot with the outside of his left foot from left edge of the box.

Still inside the opening five minutes, Bethesda’s Hartleb almost scored a second but hit the post from seven yards out.

As the midway point of the opening period approached, Daniel Hughes curled a shot just wide from edge of the area as the visitors continued to press.

Despite Bethesda creating several opportunities, it was the hosts who took the lead in the 23rd minute.

Callum Hughes side-footed Menai Bridge in front following a corner as Bethesda appealed for a foul on their goalkeeper but nothing was given.

The opportunities at both ends kept coming as Scott Hughes fired just wide for Pesda after out-muscling a Tigers defender.

Shortly afterwards, Callum Davidson came close to extending Tigers’ advantage but couldn’t hit the target from a tight angle.

Five minutes before the break, Bridge’s Aron Davies shot into the side-netting after breaking into the right of the penalty area with a jinking run.

In the 41st minute, Menai’s Davidson was lucky not to receive a second yellow card following a heavy challenge on Osian Jones shortly after being booked for preventing Bethesda from taking a quick free kick.

In first half injury time, the hosts scored a third goal when Harry Jones headed in a Hogan corner at the back post.

HALF-TIME: Menai Bridge Tigers 3-1 Bethesda Athletic

Goalmouth action from Tigers v Bethesda. Picture: JONATHAN ERVINE

Bethesda got back into contention in the opening minute of the second period when Osian Hughes headed in a cross from the right by Hartleb.

Chances then followed at both ends as Hogan’s effort from the edge of the box was saved at full stretch by Bethesda goalkeeper David Clarke. Scott Hughes then volleyed narrowly over as Athletic went in search of an equaliser.

Half-time substitue Steffan Davies went even closer for the visitors, but his goal-bound effort was headed off the line.

Menai Bridge thought they had regained their two-goal advantage at the other end but Callum Thomas was flagged offside after netting from close range.

With just over 20 minutes left, Osian Hughes’ hooked effort was deflected just over the bar.

Inside the final quarter hour, Bethesda’s Scott Hughes had a good chance when he broke into the box but his effort was well saved by the feet of Tigers goalkeeper Gethin Hughes.

Inside the final five minutes Hartleb swung in a cross from the right and Osian Hughes’ glancing header dropped in at the far post.

A moment of drama arrived with the clock ticking down. In the final minute, Bethesda worked the ball into the penalty area and won a penalty after Noa Hughes was tripped.

Scott Hughes stepped up and calmly sent the keeper the wrong way with a well-placed spot kick that clinched a dramatic victory.

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