Friday 25th September
Bangor City 2 Aberystwyth Town 3
Goals from Darren Thomas, Ross Stephens and Jamie Reed earned the Black and Greens a first ever win at the Bangor University Stadium last night, a big result for Ian Hughes' men which ensures a seven point haul over the last week. Resolute and clinical, Town now look back on track as they sit sixth in the nascent WPL table, and prepare for an Autumn assault on the Podium Places.
After two very positive results at Carmarthen and at home to Bala, the challenge for Aber was to maintain those high standards, and the Black and Greens looked the better team from the start. Thomas and Stuart Jones went close with early attempts, and with Aber's defensive shape looking excellent, it was no surprise when they took the lead in the 20th minute. Faultless full back Craig Williams surged down the left flank and delivered a pearl of a cross which Darren Thomas flicked into the corner of the net for a rare headed goal - and a good one at that. Back came the hosts however with a strong rally and when Christian Langos earned a contentious free kick, Sam Hart stepped up to deliver a beauty of a left footed free kick into the top corner of the net, for a 22nd minute equaliser. The Citizens now grew in belief and four minutes later visiting keeper Mike Lewis parried lively Langos' shot for a corner, from which Leon Clowes smashed home from close range at the second attempt. The game now developed into an end to end thriller: Reed went close for Aber, before Chris Jones hit the side netting for Bangor, and Lewis did well to gather Damian Allen's low shot. The three minutes before the break Geoff Kellaway sent in a deep cross from the right, which Chris Venables did brilliantly to head back for Stephens to smash home thrillingly from close range for 2-2. Lewis made another big save to deny Langos, and the half time whistle blew.
Luke Sherbon glanced Thomas' cross just past the post after the break but Town took a while to get going. Kellaway set up Venables down the left with a sweet ball, but the WPL Hot Shot's effort was cleared off the line by Adam Cummings. Then in the 59th minute Stuart Jones headed the ball down to Reed in the area, and his instinctive shot went under Connor Roberts to put the visitors ahead again. Thomas again fed Kellaway, who set Venables up in a great position, but the crossbar denied Aber a fourth, which meant a nervous last quarter for the visitors, whose defensive resolve was severely tested by the Citizens. Lewis gathered a header from Chris Jones, before denying him again with a great stop soon afterwards. Kellaway fizzed a left footed effort just over the bar, and Reed and Venables again drew saves from Roberts but at the other end the faultless Mike Lewis pulled off yet more top drawer saves to deny Allen and Jones, and after a nervy four minutes of injury time, the final whistle finally blew, and Aber had done it.
This exciting and thrilling game, in front of a superb crowd of 802 was a great advert for the WPL and provided a result which gives Ian Hughes' side real momentum going into a busy October schedule. Next up is a Word Cup Second Round Match at Haverfordwest on Tuesday evening, with a 7.45pm kick off. The Bus leaves at 4.30pm: you know where to meet it!