Citizens Go Top with Dominant Display
Gary Taylor-Fletcher's 72nd-minute goal sends Bangor City to the top of the JD WPL standings with a powerhouse performance against Nomads
Match Report courtesy of wpl.cymru
Well we had the dress rehearsal, of sorts, 10 days ago when this fixture was initially scheduled to play, but tonight’s match was absolutely rammed with goalmouth action as both sides - particularly in the first half - absolutely peppered the two goalkeepers with efforts to deal with.
George Horan and the visiting Nomads were the quickest out of the blocks as the Connah’s Quay captain capitalised on a defensive error by the home side to receive the ball inside the six-yard box, only to hook a shot over the bar from close range. Jay Owen then found himself in plenty of space near the penalty area a minute later and was set to unleash a shot before Bangor defenders threw their bodies in the way of the effort and eventually cleared.
The Citizens were playing their usual neat football and weaving good passing sequences together at will, but The Nomads were patient in and out of possession early-on to frustrate Kevin Nicholson’s charges.
Callum Morris and Mike Wilde both went close inside quarter of an hour to cap off a great start to the game for Andy Morrison’s side, but The Citizens were about to come to life and it was Dean Rittenberg who registered their first notable effort as he ran into a beautiful curling ball flicked over the defence by Gary Taylor-Fletcher to beat the offside trap, but John Danby - who has a great game between the sticks for the visitors - was equal to it.
Anthony Miley then headed his effort from a corner into the ground, before it deflected off Horan and almost beat Danby, but again the keeper reacted well to quell the danger. Luke Wall then went close with a spectacular effort from 25 yards out when he was somewhat off balance which Danby was again able to stop, but the home side were fairly in control by this point.
A mix-up at the back as Rittenberg ran onto a through ball almost gave the Bangor Number 10 a completely clean run through on goal leaving Danby helpless, but Harrison recovered well to pressure the forward and The Nomads eventually cleared. Somehow, despite all of this action, the score stayed 0-0 through to halftime!
Initially in the second half, the chance creation dried up somewhat as the game became more of a battle in midfield, but still the two sides had half-chances to test the opposing goalkeepers inside the opening 15 minutes of the second half.
With 30 minutes to play, Bangor started to up the tempo again and the visitors struggled to cope with that somewhat as Rittenberg and Luke Wall’s pace, trickery and movement created chances for themselves and their teammates.
Two great phases of play in the space of five minutes saw The Nomads go dangerously close to going behind, as the two aforementioned players combined and had two shots blocked before the ball fell to Brayden Shaw and Danby again saved. Wall, Rittenberg and Shaw again combined soon afterwards to see the latter go one-v-one with Danby but the keeper parried well - only into the path of the onrushing Danny Gosset, mind, but he could only shoot over from the edge of the box.
The opening goal came soon afterwards, however, as Taylor-Fletcher came up with a special finish from the edge of the six-yard box to beat the excellent Danby in goal and put The Citizens 1-0 up with 20 minutes to play, and Bangor were well in control of the game now.
If Danby’s performance prior to the opener had been superb, then his performance after that was arguably even better as the visiting goalkeeper pulled off some incredible saves to keep the score at 1-0 as Danny Holmes and Luke Wall sent two venomous efforts goal-bound, only for the keeper to make the crucial stop.
Going into injury time, the Bakare brothers had come on for the visitors to try and help secure and equaliser, but The Citizens went down the other end and won a penalty, which Horan conceded and was sent off for after acquiring his second booking of the night. Rittenberg missed the penalty, but otherwise it was a very positive performance from the forward who was at the heart of everything the home side did well in the game, and saw out victory to go top of the JD Welsh Premier League.