City Under-19's Edge Seven Goal Cup Thriller
By Kevin Owen
Seven goals, extra time & a lengthy injury stoppage on a dramatic Sunday afternoon at Maes Tegid in the FAW Youth Cup
The proverbial hard-fought victory had it all as Bangor City Under-19's progressed to Round 2 of the FAW Youth Cup at Bala Town on Sunday.
A headed goal by George Harry (his second of the match) deep into Extra Time gave the young Citizens the edge over a Bala side which twice came from behind to level the scoreline.
By comparison the opening half started relatively tamely with both sides creating opportunities but the game remained scoreless until midfielder Gethin Thomas put the Citizens ahead on 36 minutes with a 6-yard finish.
Two minutes later, Bala keeper Ryan Goldston fell awkwardly in an aerial challenge with City's George Harry and the match was halted as medical attention was sought for the stricken Goldston.
The delay proved lengthy as an ambulance eventually arrived a full 90 minutes after the initial incident to transport the Bala keeper to Wrexham Maelor Hospital.
The match was eventually re-started and the Citizens went into the short interval 1-0 ahead, although striker Sam Jones almost doubled City's lead when he rattled the Bala crossbar on the stroke of half-time.
The second period was soon under way after a quick turnaround and City did eventually double the advantage when recent signing Jake Jones found the bottom corner of the net with a sweetly struck 30-yard shot on 47 minutes.
Ten minutes later, City gave away cheap possession and the Lakesiders' Will Owen took full advantage to beat Leon Jones and reduce the arrears for Bala. City responded immediately and from a corner kick out on the right Louis McFarlane saw his effort strike the foot of the Bala post with 61 minutes played.
On 69 minutes, the Citizens again showed defensive frailty and Owen equalised with a clinical finish from a tight angle to level the score at 2-2. The next meaningful effort on goal saw Jake Jones let fly from 40-yards with an opportunistic strike which rattled the Bala crossbar with 77 minutes showing on the clock. The score remained at 2-2 at the end of the allocated ninety minutes, meaning Extra Time beckoned.
Neither team could find a breakthrough in the opening period of Extra Time, but it was the Citizens who eventually went ahead within three minutes of the re-start. A corner kick by Gruff Stead saw George Harry rise highest to head home for the Citizens to take a 3-2 lead.
Bala's response was immediate as Charlie Williams unleashed a shot from 35-yards which looped over Leon Jones in the City goal to once again restore parity at 3-3.
The young Citizens weren't to be outdone though and with five minutes remaining Gruff Stead sent over another corner kick which George Harry once again met with a header which nestled into the back of the Bala net to see Dave Cavanagh's side progress to the next round of the FAW Youth Cup.
The injured Bala goalkeeper Ryan Goldston was thankfully later discharged from hospital with no serious after effects from his injury.