Kick off:19:45 Friday, 11 Aug 2017
at Bangor University stadium
Fixture Type: Welsh Premier League
Referee: Dean John
Bangor City 5-2 The New Saints
The Bangor University Stadium
Bangor City FC Scorers: Brayden Shaw 5’, 75’, Gary Taylor-Fletcher 16’, 61’, Anderson Cayola 81’
The New Saints’ Scorers: Connell Rawlinson 14’, Jamie Mullan 24’
Well, if every game this season sets the same standard of excitement and intrigue as this one then we’re in for one incredible season indeed!
A very positive start by the Citizens saw them press The New Saints high up the pitch and put the reigning champions under plenty of early pressure. Adrian Cieslewicz and Jamie Mullan were key in helping the visitors advance up the pitch and, had a couple of lay-offs been a bit more accurate, Connor Roberts might have had some work to do early-on.
It was Bangor City, however, who drew first blood, as Anderson Cayola – who looked very lively throughout the game – and Gary Taylor-Fletcher combined well down the right flank before the former found space to send a cross in for Brayden Shaw, who was sprinting into the box and leapt well to power a header past a helpless Paul Harrison to give Bangor a lead after five minutes.
The New Saints were soon back on level terms as they started to find a foothold in the game, and the home side gave away a free-kick which Alex Darlington took and Connell Rawlinson prodded home despite Roberts’ best efforts in goal and it as back to 1-1.
With the pendulum swinging back into Bangor’s favour, Taylor-Fletcher then headed Bangor ahead from a Shaw cross to make it 2-1, before Cayola went close after cutting in from the right flank – a very positive start for the home side, with the fans getting very excited indeed, before Mullan equalised for TNS after 24 minutes following great work by Cieslewicz.
The parity lasted through to halftime, however in the second half it was The New Saints who started the brightest and looked very dangerous, but it was Bangor’s Player-Assistant Manager who made the decisive impact after 61 minutes by putting The Citizens in front for the third time, heading home from Anthony Miley’s flick to make it 3-2 with half an hour to go.
A five-goal thriller would have certainly been an apt description for the game, but nobody within The Bangor University Stadium believed another goal wasn’t coming, however we doubt anyone would have predicted it would come in such style, as Brayden Shaw sent an absolute rocket inside Harrison’s near-post from thirty years out to make it 4-2 after 75 minutes and give The Citizens something to hold onto going into the closing stages.
It wasn’t over there though, as Cayola – who had a brilliant debut for The Citizens – earned and confidently converted a penalty to make it 5-2 after 80 minutes and Bangor’s fans were deliriously happy as full time approached.