Citizens step up Europa League preparations at The Showgrounds
Bangor City lose to Danske Bank Premiership club Coleraine ahead of Monday's UEFA Europa League Qualifying Round draw
Bangor City fell to a 1-3 defeat against Danske Bank Premiership side Coleraine at The Showgrounds on Saturday.
On a warm afternoon, it was the home side who began brightest with striker Eoin Bradley’s free-kick blocked by the Bangor wall, before Ciaron Harkin tested Connor Roberts from distance.
The Bannsiders went ahead on 25 minutes as City lost possession in the centre circle and Carson found Bradley in the box and the striker hit a first time effort into the back of the net leaving Connor Roberts with no chance.
On the half hour mark, the Citizens almost got back on level terms as Gary Roberts’ free-kick flew narrowly wide. Minutes later, the Citizens found a route back into the match as O’Donnell fouled Luke Wall in the penalty area. Up stepped last season's leading goalscorer Daniel Nardiello who made no mistake with the spot-kick.
Half Time: Coleraine 1-1 Bangor City
The Citizens made one change at the interval with Damien Allen replacing summer capture Steve Hewitt in midfield. Early pressure saw a Dean Rittenberg effort turned behind for a corner and from the resulting flag kick the ball fell to Laurence Wilson on the edge of the box but his effort flew over the Coleraine bar.
However, the Bannsiders regained the lead after 53 minutes as City again gave away cheap possession on halfway to concede a free kick some 30-yards from goal. James McLaughlin fired in a free-kick beyond the defensive wall and the grasp of Connor Roberts to make the scoreline 2-1 to Coleraine.
City responded immediately with first Luke Wall and then Gary Taylor-Fletcher having goal bound shots blocked by the Coleraine rearguard.
On 75 minutes, the Bannsiders all but sealed the win as Citizens ‘keeper Roberts brought down the advancing Coleraine forward to concede the penalty. Jamie McGonigle – a recent debutant for Northern Ireland U21 – stepped up and drilled his penalty straight down the middle for a 3-1 lead.
And so it ended, with Citizens management duo Kevin Nicholson and Gary Taylor-Fletcher given plenty of food for thought as attention shifts to Monday's UEFA Europa League Qualifying Round draw from Nyon, Switzerland.
1 Connor Roberts (GK), 6 Gary Roberts (C), 30 Paul Connolly, Trialist, 19 Laurence Wilson, 16 Danny Gosset, 24 Steve Hewitt, 4 Luke Wall, 7 Gary Taylor-Fletcher, 9 Daniel Nardiello, 10 Dean Rittenberg.
Subs: 13 Matthew Hall (GK), 8 Damien Allen, 11 Sion Edwards, 17 Sam Henry, Trialist.