Young Citizens Edge to Another Win
By Kevin Owen
Under-19's made to battle all the way by Llandudno as they pick-up 3 more points in the WPDL North title race
Bangor City's Under-19 Development side extended their unbeaten WPDL run to six straight wins (dating back to mid-September) as they overcame a capable Llandudno outfit 3-1 on Sunday afternoon.
Coach Dave Cavanagh opted for an unfamiliar 3-5-2 formation with Anderson Cayola partnering the prolific Sam Jones up front with Alex Boss and Gruff Stead deployed as wing backs.
The opening period found the young Citizens very much on the back foot at times as the visitors enjoyed the lion's share of possession and the better of the creative opportunities in front of goal. A series of corner kicks early on for Llandudno came to nothing but City lacked the necessary composure in their forward play and all too often conceded the momentum.
Swift passing movement by Llandudno on 34 minutes split the City defence wide open and as the forward sent a goalbound effort beyond the advancing Leon Jones the Citizens were able to breath a collective sigh of relief as Ben Williams hooked clear at the last moment.
However, it was City that made the all important breakthrough just a minute before the interval. Midfielder Gethin Thomas found himself in space to bear down on the Llandudno goal and despite the keeper's initial save the ball broke out to the left hand side of the area where Gruff Stead was able to drive the ball back towards goal and Guto Huws provided the vital touch at the near post to score.
Half Time: Bangor City U19 1-0 Llandudno U19
Stung by the setback, Llandudno responded in emphatic style as they equalised within two minutes of the restart. Good work down the right hand byeline saw a cross driven low and hard across the City goal and although Citizens keeper Leon Jones was able to parry the drive, winger Osian Jones was able to pounce on the loose ball ahead of the City defence to bring the two sides back on level terms.
Bangor made their first change of the afternoon on 54 minutes as Geraint Jones replaced Cayola. However, the visitors continued to press and City were thankful for Leon Jones' tremendous save just a minute later in what would prove to be a turning point in the match.
As the hour mark approached, right wing back Alex Boss broke at speed into the Llandudno box only to be up-ended to give the referee no option but to award a penalty to City. Up stepped Sam Jones to send the spot kick low into the bottom right hand corner just beyond the grasp of the Llandudno guardian. The penalty brought the Menai Bridge striker's tally for the season to 18 WPDL goals.
Undaunted, Llandudno responded and were left to rue a missed opportunity on 62 minutes as a shot from the edge of the penalty area went inches wide of the target. The game was by now a much more open affair with City looking increasingly dangerous as they went forward.
With City leading 2-1, the decisive goal arrived on 70 minutes as City broke down the left flank and Gruff Stead sent a low drive across the goalmouth where Gethin Thomas was waiting to apply the finish and increase the lead to 3-1 in the Citizens favour.
Bangor made two further substitutions with Jason Banks replacing Guto Huws (72 minutes) and Cai Huws coming on in place of Gruff Stead (82 minutes).
City again came close to extending the scoreline on 82 minutes as Alex Boss' pace sent him past the Llandudno defence but the shot was driven just the wrong side of the post as it rippled the side-netting.
Full Time: Bangor City U19 3-1 Llandudno U19
The win lifts City up to fourth place in the WPDL North table just three points off top spot and level on points with Connah's Quay Nomads.
The two teams will meet again this Friday, 1 December, at Maesdu Park (7:45pm Kick Off) in the return fixture.
Latest Welsh Premier Development League (North) table [click here]