MATCH REPORT | Citizens Under 19's Finish Season with a Flourish
By Kevin Owen
Bangor City's Development side complete their season with a 4-1 win against Prestatyn Town at Bastion Gardens
Bangor City's Under 19 Development side completed their Welsh Premier Development League North season with their sixteenth win of the 2017/18 campaign at Prestatyn Town on Tuesday evening.
The young Citizens started brightly with Alex Boss demonstrating his lightning pace before shooting wide of the left hand post in the fifth minute. The next significant opportunity came in the 25th minute as hesitation in the home defence presented leading marksman Sam Jones with a shot on goal which again flashed wide of the Prestatyn upright.
With 27 minutes gone, Sam Jones was up ended by Prestatyn's Casey Faulkner in the area and the referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. The experienced Tom Kemp - a first team regular for the Seasiders in the WPL this term - was subsequently booked by the match official for his consistent petulance. Histrionics over, Sam Jones (looking to add to his 38 goal tally) stepped up for the penalty kick but Prestatyn keeper Josh Ablett was equal to the well struck shot as he dived low to his left to keep the scoresheet blank.
City's Geraint Jones then struck the crossbar with a 30-yard effort just after the half hour as the young Citizens increased the pressure on the Prestatyn defence. The breakthrough eventually arrived four minutes before the interval as Sam Jones turned inside his marker on the right hand side of the area and sent his shot beyond Ablett into the far bottom corner for a 1-0 lead.
Prestatyn responded to the setback and a long-range effort clipped the outside of Leon Jones' right hand upright on 44 minutes but City went into the interval a goal to the good as the referee blew for the half time break.
Half Time: Prestatyn Town U19 0-1 Bangor City U19
Prestatyn's Rhys James was next into the referee's notebook on 51 minutes as the foul tally mounted for a typically feisty Prestatyn team. Four minutes later and City went further ahead. Sam Jones claimed his fortieth goal of the season with another emphatic finish from 12-yards which nestled in the opposite bottom corner of the net.
Coach Dave Cavanagh then made the first change of the evening as Callum Jones replaced the coolly composed Guto Williams in the heart of the City defence (59 minutes). Prestatyn also made a change as the truculent Kemp departed to be replaced by Euros Barker.
Substitute Jones didn't have to wait long to make an impression as he extended the Citizens lead to 3-0 with 65 minutes played. Jake Jones created mayhem inside the penalty area and from the resulting melee the young centre back slammed home a shot which left Ablett with no chance in the Prestatyn goal.
Two further changes followed as Cai Huws replaced Harry Hughes on the left hand side of the defence (69 minutes) before Sam Jones made way for the diminutive Jason Banks after 72 minutes. Prestatyn's Aaron White became the latest booking on 77 minutes as the tackles continued to fly in from the home side.
City's fourth goal duly arrived on 81 minutes as Jason Banks smashed in a close range shot following good approach play by Cai Huws down the left hand side. The goal was City's 99th of the WPDL North campaign - matching the total achieved in the inaugural championship winning 2015/16 season.
Another goal duly arrived, unfortunately at the opposite end as Prestatyn's Rhys James nodded in an in-swinging free kick from the left flank to deny the Citizens a century as the score finished 4-1 in City's favour.
The reigning champions thus relinquished their WPDL North title and have to content themselves with a third place finish this time around in a largely transitional season for the squad. Sam Jones' forty goals for the season were certainly a highlight, but perhaps the greatest satisfaction can be gained from the progression of several key players into City's first team set up in the Welsh Premier League - the most accurate barometer for true development. Da iawn pawb!