Bangor City FC Scorers
O'Toole returns to cut cup run short
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In a close game played in difficult conditions, the Nomads gave their all but found themselves on the wrong end of a 2-0 scoreline in this fourth round tie of the Welsh Cup. A first half own goal from Danny Dobbins and a second half opportunist goal from former Nomad, Gary O'Toole, ensured that Bangor progressed to the next stages but the home side battled right to the end and put in a creditable performance in front of a crowd of 512.
After a tremendous effort by 40 or so volunteers the pitch had been cleared of the snow which had covered it for the previous week and was declared playable despite the surface water that remained in a number of places.
Following the transfer of Rhys Healey to Cardiff City and with newly signed Michael Hayes cup-tied, the Nomads lined up without a recognised striker. Using a 5-4-1 formation with Ricky Evans as the front man, the Nomads' defence was strengthened by the return of Michael Robinson making his first start since being injured 3 months previously in the 6-2 home defeat by Bangor.
It was clear straight from the kick-off that the conditions were going to make it difficult for either side to play a short passing game and the early play was scrappy with Bangor doing the early pressing.
The first chance of the game fell to Bangor in the 15th minute when John Rushton had to tip over a header from the visitors' Ryan Edwards but two minutes later it was Lee Idzi in the Bangor goal who was forced into a rushed clearance as Jamie Petrie raced on to a through ball from Ricky Evans.
As the 30 minute mark approached the play was generally end to end with few clear cut chances being created. Bangor were having more of the possession but the Nomads' defence was withstanding the Bangor attacks with John Hardiker showing up well.
After such a good defensive display, the Nomads were unfortunate to fall behind in the 34th minute through an own goal from Danny Dobbins. The goal came from a corner which had been conceded as Michael Robinson blocked a shot from Les Davies. From the corner kick the ball was whipped in from the left side of the penalty area and Danny Dobbins appeared to attempt to head it for another corner but could only divert it into the net with John Rushton standing just behind in a position where he might have been able to make a save.
The Nomads had shown their fighting spirit in previous games this season and didn't allow their heads to go down at this setback but couldn't create any more chances before half-time.
The second half started with the Nomads attacking the Bangor goalmouth with two long free kicks from John Rushton. From the second of these, the ball went out for a throw in and from the resultant throw, the ball came into the penalty area where Chris Rowntree headed it on to Jamie Petrie. Surrounded by Bangor defenders, Petrie passed on to Craig Jones who unleashed a goalbound shot which hit a defender before the impressive Lee Idzi was forced to tip the ball over the crossbar.
Another long free kick from John Rushton in the 55th minute produced the next chance as Jamie Petrie raced into the penalty area with a Bangor defender in pursuit. As Jamie prepared to strike for goal he appeared to be caught from behind by the defender and scuffed his shot which was sent just wide of the goal with the referee showing no interest in appeals for a penalty.
Trailing by one goal, the Nomads were showing more attacking intentions and Idzi was called into action in the 63rd minute to save another effort from Jamie Petrie. Almost immediately, Bangor were on the counter attack and John Rushton was forced onto making a superb save as a shot came in from the Bangor left.
The 70th minute saw the introduction of former Nomad striker Gary O'Toole as he replaced Chris Simm and O'Toole made an immediate impact when he scored within 30 seconds of coming on. After a long range shot hit the Nomads' crossbar it looped up before falling invitingly for the onrushing O'Toole to knock the ball into the net from close range. Although John Rushton managed to get a hand to O'Toole's first touch the ball rebounded to O'Toole and he steered it into the goal. This goal stirred up the visiting fans who had been remarkably quiet up to this point but they remained nervous as the Nomads showed that they weren't giving up on this game.
John Rushton was called on to make another fine save in the 74th minute and shortly afterwards Bangor were reduced to ten men after skipper Brewerton received a second yellow card in the space of three minutes, the first for obstructing Rob Jones and the second for a handball offence.
With a one man advantage, the Nomads continued to press for a goal and they had another claim for a penalty turned down in the 81st minute when Rob Jones was brought down as he ran through the Bangor penalty area. Then in the next minute they had the ball in the Bangor net following a corner only to see the goal disallowed by what appeared to be a questionable intervention from the linesman.
The game was played out with the Nomads putting pressure on the Bangor defence but with keeper Idzi in good form the visitors were able to withstand the Nomads efforts and progress to the next round of the Cup.
In the end, a disappointing outcome for the Nomads who played their part in making it a good spectacle played in very difficult conditions. An unfortunate own goal and a simple tap-in proved to be the difference in the fortunes of the two sides and the Nomads had two shouts for a penalty ignored along with a disallowed goal.