Bangor City 1-1 Port Talbot Town
Manager Mark Jones kept the same starting line-up that defeated Prestatyn Town in midweek while midfielders Karl Lewis and Neil Thomas returned to the squad but could only take a place on the bench alongside Lee John.
Bangor started the match brightly on the heavy surface and were generally in control of the match throughout the opening half. Port Talbot caused problems for the home defence on the counter-attack however with the pace of Scott Barrow, Daniel Thomas and Drew Fahiya a constant problem for Bangor when he visitors had the ball. Lee Kendall in the Port Talbot goal was the busier of the two keepers in the opening half as he prevented Bangor taking the lead until the 43rd minute when they deservedly went in front through Mark Smyth.
Drew Fahiya came close to equalising but his far post header could only find the side netting. With the playing surface in a poor state Port Talbot came out for the second half with a much more positive approach and took the game to the home side from the start. Within five minutes of the second half Lloyd Grist equalised for the visitors with a well taken goal from the right. The goal boosted Port Talbot and they continued to push forward with Daniel Thomas coming close to adding a second midway through the second half. Bangor were limited to playing on the counter-attack in the second half but still created chances before Port Talbot made a triple substitution.
The arrival of Neil Thomas and Karl Lewis offered the side more stability in midfield while the arrival of Lee John added another attacking option. Martin Rose had a great chance to win the match on 87 minutes when he headed a cross from the right towards goal but straight to goalkeeper Paul Smith who made a save from close range. Both sides had chances to take maximum points in each half with a draw a fair result from an entertaining match that was spoilt by the heavy playing surface.
5th April 2010 – Western Mail
Bangor and Port Talbot battle to draw
If Bangor and Port Talbot fail to reach europe via the league route they could go head-to-head in the Welsh Cup final to achieve their goal. Both will be favourites to reach the final next weekend, with the Citizens meeting Prestatyn and the Steelmen having to overcome Bala Town in the semi-finals. But Port Talbot manager Mark Jones still believes his players can finish third in the league this season and overturn a four-point deficit on Aberystwyth. “I believe we can still do it but we probably have to win all four of our remaining matches,” he said. “Aberystwyth have still to play TNS, Rhyl and Llanelli and that’s a tough finish to the season.
I feel all our remaining matches are winnable, although we face a massive test at Neath on Wednesday night.” If the Steelmen gain another 12 points it would mean Aberystwyth, who have a vastly inferior goal difference, would need nine points out of a possible 12 to retain their advantage. “What we have done today is probably eliminate Bangor from the race, although nothing can be taken for granted,” Jones added. Bangor manager Neville Powell said: “We wanted all three points today but with five games left don’t rule us out.” On a dreadful Farrar Road pitch, the hosts went ahead in the 43rd minute, Jamie Reed’s superb defence-splitting pass setting Mark Smyth through for the opener.
Five minutes into the second period Lloyd Grist burst through from midfield to lash home his first goal of the season but the drama did not end there. Danny Thomas had two one-on-ones with Bangor ‘keeper Paul Smith but failed to capitalise and Martin Rose was magnificently denied by Smith with a header near the end. “To be honest I am a bit disappointed we didn’t win it but a point at Bangor is never a bad outcome,” Jones concluded.
5th April 2010 – Daily Post
Bangor and Port Talbot battle to draw
The result at a muddy Farrar Road on Saturday was probably a fair one with City bossing the first half and leading through Mark Smyth’s strike, while the Steelmen came on much stronger in the second period, equalising through Lloyd Grist. “I thought in the first half we were the better side; we went 1-0 up, had a couple of balls floating about in the box, and if we’d have got that second goal, which you need against a team like Port Talbot, we’d have been more comfortable,” said Powell. “I think there were a few harsh words said in their (Port’s) dressing room at half time, they’ve come out and got that deflected goal in the first 10 minutes and put us on the back foot for a bit, but fair dos to the lads they’ve battled on a heavy pitch and a draw was probably a fair result between two good sides. We didn’t create as many chances as we normally do, but we were playing against a good side.” Although the draw did neither team any good in the race for third place, Powell still believes City are capable of at least a top four finish.
“If we win our five remaining games we’re not going to be far off third or fourth,” he predicted. “We’ve got Airbus here after Porthmadog, then Caersws, so anything can happen. There are going to be twists and turns before the end of the season and hopefully it’ll turn out well for us.” City dominated the first half on Saturday, Jamie Reed and Mark Smyth going close before Brewerton turned sharply in the area but saw his powerful near post strike acrobatically tipped over by keeper Lee Kendall. In the 42nd minute Reed fed a lovely pass into Smyth whose smart left-foot finish gave the Blues a deserved lead. Port were a different side at the start of the second half and on 50 minutes Martin Rose’s neat ball released Grist whose fierce deflected effort flew in past Paul Smith.
Lee Surman fired just wide for the visitors before Marc Limbert’s free-kick was met by Brewerton’s head and Craig Garside’s volley did not miss by much. In the 86th minute Kendall’s long kick was latched on to by Danny Thomas whose pace took him past Michael Johnston into the box, but his final shot was weak. Then deep into injury time Thomas performed marvels to keep the ball in on the right and cross for Rose whose diving header was gratefully grasped by Smith.
4th April 2010 – Wales on Sunday
Potential Welsh Cup final opponents Bangor and Port Talbot proved inseparable equals in a mud-spattered Farrar Road slog. City scored just before half-time through Mark Smyth before Town replied just after the break through Lloyd Grist – and the rest of the action amounted to near misses and exasperation. Smyth’s strike on 43 minutes was from 12 yards at an angle on the left, after Jamie Reed’s creation, and the low shot eluded everyone as it bobbled through the congested goal zone. Grist’s equaliser on 50 minutes came from a solo burst into space in the home team’s box, after City keeper Paul Smith was drawn out to try and make a clearance.
Both Smith and counterpart Lee Kendall reigned supreme at all other times, with their respective defences on top. Bangor’s Michael Johnston and captain James Brewerton were effective, while Carmarthen skipper Matthew Rees and Lee Surman also looked impressive. City dictated the trend of the proceedings for virtually all of the first half, at least until they reached Port Talbot’s impregnable penalty box. Eddie Jebb left three opponents in his wake with one scintillating run, only to stumble over the ball when the shot was due. And City’s Smyth also surged into space only to blaze his shot over the bar. Lee Hunt forced Kendall into an acrobatic tip-over save from a tight angle on the right. And Dave Morley just missed the target at the far post following a corner.
Daniel Thomas suffered agony for Port Talbot, who improved in the second session, by steering his attempt into the side netting following a break and a deep left wing cross. And City’s Smith was required to rush off his line to snatch the ball off Thomas’ feet, just when the Port Talbot man was shaping to shoot. Then, right at the end, the visitors’ Martin Rose inexplicably miskicked completely, barely a couple of yards in front of the home target – much to the Bangor faithful’s huge relief.
3rd April 2010 – www.the-citizens-choice.co.uk
The proverbial game of two halves ended with a deserved draw as both sides contributed fully to an entertaining match on heavy Farrar Road. It has seemed set fair on Saturday morning but some heavy showers spoilt all that. On a cloying surface Bangor had the better of the first half attacking the Farrar End. An early corner from Mark Smyth went deep to Dave Morley who headed back across goal for Jamie Reed who headed just over. Next Smyth ran through midfield but sent his twenty yarder well over. Port Talbot were threatening on the break but Chris Roberts – who had an outstanding afternoon – and the ever dependable Michael Johnston were up to the challenge. On 19 mins Johnston was shown the yellow card for a strong challenge on Lloyd Grist. Moments later more danger as Fahiya threatened but first Roberts and then Johnston snuffed the danger.
On the half hour a Peter Hoy missile dropped to Jamie Brewerton at the near post. His shot on the turn stunned the acrobatic Kendall into a reaction save which produced third Bangor corner. Minutes later Lee Hunt harried right back DeVulgt into conceding a corner on the left which Mark Smyth delivered and Dave Morley lifted over from the near post. Eddie Jebb seems to go from strength to strength and his right wing run ended in a dipping strike which Kendall again did well to keep out. On 38 mins a yellow card for the shaven headed Matthew Rees for a trip on Jamie Reed but the freekick came to nothing. But on 43 mins the pressure finally paid off. A booming crossfield ball from Peter Hoy was controlled by Jamie Reed who turned to slide Mark Smyth who beat Lee Kendall from the left. The joy was nearly shortlived though as Danny Thomas crossed from the left and watched as Drew Fahiya’s backpost header hit the side netting. In the one minute added time referee Huw Jones harshly yellow carded Lee Hunt for kicking the ball away before blowing for a well earned rest given the demanding conditions. No changes at the interval other than Bangor were now attacking The St Pauls End. Paul Smith was quickly into the action to claim a catch of Jamie Brewerton’s sliced clearance.
Moments later Smith’s attempted clearance hit Chris Roberts and let in left winger Thomas but the ‘keeper atoned for his error with a fine low stop. Five minutes after the restart Port Talbot were level. A strong run from Lloyd Grist into the right of the blues box, a shot which deflected off the despairing Peter Hoy and sped over Paul Smith. Two minutes on and Chris Roberts was yellow card for a supposed foul on Fahiya. Next loud shouts from the Bangor bench as Jamie Brewerton was clearly pushed in the back in the visitors box by Matthew Rees. Then a stoppage as referee Jones took no action as Johnston needed treatment following a blatant boot from behind by the frustrated Rose who was closely watched by the vigilant Brewerton. Lee Surman though was cautioned for a clattering foul on Lee Hunt before on 68 mins Marc Limbert replaced right winger Eddie Jebb. Moments later Craig Garside lashed wide after Jamie Brewerton had headed down from a deep freekick from the right. On 71 mins the strange site of a triple substitution from Port Talbot as Karl Lewis, Neil Thomas and Lee John came on for Grist, Fahiya and Phillips. But it was City who went close as Michael Johnston’s marauding run opened up a crossfield ball to Marc Limbert but Surman blocked.
Sion Edwards then replaced a weary Mark Smyth before Port Talbot threatened with Peter Hoy heading off the line as Matthew Rees threatened from a long throw. A Bangor freekick almost brought a goal for Port Talbot as Kendall’s huge clearance found Thomas in on goal on the left but Paul Smith saved. Seconds later Thomas was in again but this time Peter Hoy charged back with a well timed tackle. Bangor forced a late chance when Brewerton was denied for what looked like a corner, nothing doing, then substitute Sion Edwards limped off with Ashley Stott coming on. Port Talbot forced one last chance through the lively Thomas on the right but Paul Smith grabbed Rose’s header and that was about it, one all and a tremendous game given the state of the pitch.
Principality Welsh Premier League
Saturday, 3rd April 2010
at Farrar Road, Bangor
Bangor City 1-1 Port Talbot Town
Mark Smyth (43)
Port Talbot Town
Lloyd Grist (50)
Referee – Mr Huw Jones
Team – Paul Smith, Peter Hoy, Chris Roberts, Michael Johnston, James Brewerton, Craig Garside, Jamie Reed, Dave Morley, Lee Hunt, Eddie Jebb, Mark Smyth
Subs – Ashley Stott (rep Edwards – 90), Sion Edwards (rep Smyth – 77), Marc Limbert (rep Jebb – 67), Matthew Hurdman (Unused)
Yellow Cards – Michael Johnston (19), Lee Hunt (45), Chris Roberts (52)
Red Cards – None
Goalscorers – Mark Smyth (43)
Port Talbot Town
Team – Lee Kendall, Leigh De-Vulgt, Scott Barrow, Lloyd Grist, Matthew Rees, Lee Surman, Drew Fahiya Gareth Phillips, Martin Rose, Liam McCreesh, Daniel Thomas
Subs – Karl Lewis(rep Grist- 71), Neil Thomas (rep Fahiya – 71), Lee John (rep Phillips – 71)
Yellow Cards – Matthew Rees (38), Lee Surman (67)
Red Cards – None
Goalscorers – Lloyd Grist (50)
Attendance – 407