Kick off:14:30 Saturday, 29 Sept 2012
at Richmond Park, Carmarthen
Fixture Type: Welsh Premier League
Referee: Huw Jones
Carmarthen welcomed the return of star goalkeeper Steve Cann against Bangor City after a 5 match absence through injury during which they had secured only two points and fallen from the top of the Welsh Premier League table to ninth place. But unfortunately his presence was not the catalyst for a much-needed victory which Town might have anticipated.
Indeed it was Cann’s early error which led to the visitors taking the lead in only the 2nd minute when his poor clearance went straight to City striker Les Davies who quickly fed top scorer Chris Simm and from just inside the penalty area he drove the ball under the advancing ‘keeper and into the net. E H Factors & Clothing sponsored Town immediately sought to get back on level terms and after 6 minutes a long throw-in from Ian Hillier into a crowded goalmouth found the head of Carl Evans but he steered the ball just over the bar.
Then moments later Town executed probably the best move of the match when a delightful sequence of slick passes between Paul Fowler, Liam McCreesh, Tim Hicks and Corey Thomas carved open the City defence and finished with Thomas driving the ball across the face of goal but sadly eluding both Fowler and Liam Thomas who had raced into the penalty area.
From then on play swung from end to end although without the defences of either side having too many anxious moments and with neither goalkeeper being seriously tested. However after 27 minutes the Old Gold came close to equalising when Fowler’s stunning 25 yard free-kick breeched the defensive “wall” only for City ‘keeper Lee Idzi to turn the ball away at full-stretch. Bangor retaliated on 34 minutes with Simm breaking quickly forward and releasing a fierce drive from 15 yards but Cann was down smartly to save with his feet.
For a long period after the interval the game once more became largely confined to the midfield with limited goalmouth activity; while the visitors did enjoy greater territorial advantage, Town were resilient in defence and quick to break forward on the counter-attack. However City’s back four were formidable and well organised and it was not until the 67th minute that their goal came under serious threat when Jonathan Hood picked up a weak clearance and from 35 yards sent in a dipping volley which flew marginally over the bar with Idzi off his line and well beaten.
Hood was again involved shortly afterwards when his long throw-in was headed on by Matthew Rees to Liam Thomas but, crowded by defenders, his weak touch from close range was easily saved by Idzi. By now Town were surging into the opposition penalty area at every opportunity with central defender Evans having been pushed forward as an auxiliary striker, adding his considerable height and strength in the search for an equaliser. It was now Bangor who were confined to an occasional breakaway but Cann remained untroubled.
Then finally, as the game reached well into added time, another long throw from Hood caused panic in the visitors’ now heavily congested goalmouth but Hicks’ ambitious close-range overhead kick went narrowly wide – and Town remained goalless for the third successive match.
Disappointingly, this was yet another game in which they failed to convert any of the scoring opportunities that their enterprising approach work had created and merited. The sooner this is rectified, the more likely it is that the Old Gold will enjoy once more the success of their early season matches.