Bangor City 788

V

3 - 1

Connah's Quay Nomads

Bangor City v
Connah's Quay Nomads

Kick off:14:30 Saturday, 17 Feb 2007
Fixture Type: Welsh Premier League
Attendance: 355

Referee: Lee Evans

Citizens comeback dents Nomads European aspirations

<1r>Bangor City returned to the form that everybody knows they are capable of by defeating European hopefuls Connah's Quay Nomads, who arrived at Farrar Road as favourites to complete a rare double, having won 3-0 at home in October.

Manager Steve Bleasdale must have uttered some telling words during the interval, because his players cast aside a one-goal deficit and hit three replies to become worthy winners. Marc Lloyd Williams scored the equaliser after 47 minutes, Mark Smyth nudged City ahead on 59 and Ashley Stott fired the clincher with six minutes remaining.

But all that had seemed to be an impossible dream earlier, as Nomads shaped impressively, if not somewhat over-physically, during the first 45 minutes. After a City near-miss in the early moments, when Steve Wynne had an eight yards' attempt beaten away by Nomads' 'keeper Paul Smith, the proceedings were bossed by the visitors.

But for acrobatic keeper Ian Havard the scoreline could have been developed into a rout, with superb saves denying Adam Dickinson, Craig Hutchinson, Tommy Mutton and Chris Sergeant. It was no surprise when Connah's Quay secured the lead on 36 minutes through Dickinson, who netted from three yards after a rebound off Havard, who had done well to parry another Sergeant special.

Dickinson was only inches away from doubling the score soon after and Mutton was frustrated at having a couple of goal-bound shots blocked in the approach to half-time. Then, around 40 minutes, Bangor suddenly stirred and threatened with Lloyd Williams having a drive blocked and Smyth directing the rebound just outside a post.

Take-off for City was achieved just two minutes into the new half, and scoring ace Lloyd Williams was featured when he tucked away a penalty awarded after Stott was fouled by Gary Pinch. Bleasdale's men were inspired by that breakthrough and follow-up raids included Lloyd Williams powering an 18-yarder in front of the goal and another shot just wide, while Paul O'Neil saw a header tipped over the bar.

A memorable solo goal by Smyth just short of the hour mark swept Bangor ahead for the first time, the raider gaining possession around the halfway line and bursting clear to shoot past the keeper. In a rare Nomads counter-attack, sub Chris Melia, a debutant following his signing from Winsford United, steered a header wide but it was Bangor who finished strongly. The third goal that wrapped up the package in style again involved Lloyd Williams, his cross from the right being given a clinical 12-yards' finish by Stott.