This match had been significant for a long time because it was going to be the endpoint for a fundraising endeavour. When I say the endpoint I literally mean the endpoint; Bastion Gardens was going to be the finishing point for a sponsored walk.
You may be wondering why people embarked on a sponsored walk, well let me offer a small explanation; our club needs to build a terrace at the “Bridge End” of Nantporth and the BCFCSA agreed to help raise money for it. Therefore the BCFCSA is trying to explore every possible avenue of fundraising.
Apart from the walk we’ve come up with a couple of other ideas; firstly there’s a “Buy-A-Brick” scheme and this offers a chance to leave a permanent record of your support, there’s also the book about the history of Farrar Road being written by Glynne, a notable BCFCSA member. To the untrained, i.e. moaning bastards, these examples may not sound much but we, the BCFCSA, are organising them by ourselves and even this amount of fundraising has already required loads of effort. Hopefully once all the potential money comes in the BCFCSA should be able to donate quite a substantial amount towards the cost of the terrace.
The truly impressive thing about the fabulous act of the 15 sponsored walkers is that they walked to the match from Bangor. They covered the long long distance, 36 miles, in about 16 hours. You can imagine the aching limbs and blisters can’t you? It’s acts like this that form the backbone of football; without people going above and beyond their duty football would probably collapse.
OI YOU!!! YES YOU. OI!!!!!! I’M TALKING TO YOU!!!! YES YOU, I MEAN YOU!!!! YOU SHOULD BE DOING MORE!!!
Unfortunately I missed the walkers’ arrival on to the pitch,, I only heard the applause as I was queuing to get in. I eventually saw the walkers in the Prestatyn directors’ portakabin. As you would imagine none of them were too sprightly. As Mike said on Citizens Choice this win must be dedicated to the efforts of the walkers, I can only doff my cap to my comrades’ efforts.
After the obligatory scares the match events were as expected, Chris Jones scored from a lovely free kick after about 20 minutes and Sion doubled our lead just before half time. In the second half Les and Sion added other goals to give the match a comfortable feel.
I could lament the fact that Prestatyn don’t put up much of a challenge any more, or I could yearn for the days of last season, but why would I do that? I quite enjoy winning 4-0 and I really enjoy seeing the resigned look on the face of Hill-Dunt. Another three points also meant we were top of the league again, which is always good.
On a final note I must tell you that there was strange atmosphere surrounding the match. It seems the sponsored walk had facilitated mutual good feelings. The good vibes began with message board expressions of admiration and offers of hospitality. The good vibes developed into full-blown sentiments of glad tidings. The really odd thing was that it happened on message boards, the very place that caused the ill-feeling in the first place. I suppose it’s more proof that messageboard loudmouths aren’t exactly the people to set the tone.Bangor City 2 Llanelli 2, Welsh Premier League, 24/3/12
On this day I told Llanelli where to go. Yes I actually told them where to go, well I’m a decent sort and they were going the wrong way besides I could hardly refuse to help after they’d stopped to ask for directions.
Steve Jenkins, the ex-Welsh international, asked the $64,000 question. “Where’s Bangor’s new ground mate?” Being one of those people who thinks of a witty comeback 3 hours after it’s needed I warmly answered; “Well you just go around the roundabout there and go back the way you came, it will be on the right and it’s signposted”
I stood there as Llanelli’s players drove past me, basking in Steve Jenkins’ friendly acknowledgement as he drove off. My God!!! A Welsh international had waved at me!!! Then I realised they hadn’t even offer me a lift.
Those fucking tossers!!! How could they be so bloody heartless?
As I walked through the rest of Upper Bangor I didn’t need three hours to formulate the lines. Although the thoughts were still between 3 and 15 minutes too late.
I realised what I should have said was; “Well you just go around the roundab………….Hold on a minute. Fucking find it yourself!!!!! And another thing, tell that Chris Holloway he’s a fucking gap-toothed prick as well!!!!! Now FUCK OFF!!!!!!!”
I pictured myself having the last laugh by stealing their thunder. I saw myself casually striding off, leaving Llanelli’s players dishevelled and despondent in my triumphant wake, broken men with no stomach for the fight. If only that was how things had turned out!!
By half time I felt no need to break the spirit of men. However the events of the first half, and the strong sun, had only lulled us all into a false sense of security; Bangor were 2-0 up and seemed to be in control. How foolish we all were, the harsh rays of the sun had merely caused a mirage; the game looked over, finished.
I couldn’t help but fall into the trap; Llanelli were on a very bad run and it’s obvious that when you’re leading 2-0, and in control, against a team on a bad run you’re going to be fooled into presuming certain things will happen. The heat was so strong that my thoughts actually ran into each other; “How many will we score?”………“This was all great!!!!” ………….. “Now that we’ve won this match we only have to win the next three and we’ll be champions again!!!!!!!!!!!!!”……………… “I really love you football!!!” ……………. “Football, you are a beautiful creature!!!”
Unfortunately for those presumptuous souls amongst Bangor’s support the second half happened. In my time I’ve noticed that it’s alright having a 2-0 lead if the other team doesn’t score. When the other team manages to score the jitters often descend and that’s what happened today. Needless to say the fuckers also scored another late equaliser.
The sunshine of a glorious now had been replaced by the despondency of a bleak tomorrow. We’d dropped two points and TNS had won. Those plastic fuckers were now 4 points ahead and we had to rely on them dropping points to win the league. I hate those relentless fraudulent football clubs with their wily ways.
If only I ‘d come up with the line that I needed when I needed it!Cefn Druids 4 Airbus 1, Welsh Cup Semi Final, 31/3/12
A Welsh Cup semi-final without Bangor City, what was the world coming to?Bangor City 4 Bala Town 2, Welsh Premier League, 6/4/12
On the eve of my esoteric honeymoon to York I ventured to Bangor wrapped in the feeling that my football hopes had been rekindled.
Even though there was rain and a tangible nervous tension in the air I took the combination as a signal that destiny was turning in our favour. If we won tonight the title was on again, I could feel it. It didn’t matter how TNS did tomorrow. I just knew that things would get better.
I was sure that the two great possibilities that could follow a Bangor victory WOULD happen. If TNS lost we’d only be a point behind TNS again. If Neath lost we will have qualified for Europe again. So when we won and both Neath and TNS lost we will be back in the title race and back in Europe. I liked the sound of that!!! I knew it would go our way.
Unfortunately Bala went into the lead after about six minutes. Hold on, I hadn’t computed that.
Then Smythy did the decent thing by equalising with another well taken goal. After about 25 minutes Bangor were in front when Smythy scored again. He should have had a third after a mazy dribble but the shot was cruelly saved by the keeper. Obviously Bangor were leading at half time.
By the end of the half I was wet through so the second half meant the cover of the stand. This position also meant that I had a rather good view of Bangor missing several good chances. Bala managed to earn a penalty near the 70th minute mark. From my vantage point it looked like the Bala player took to the ground rather too easily. Needless to say Bala scored from the penalty. Someone from Bala’s bench decided to gesture wildly at us with extended fingers and arm-pumping gestures.
Usually, when a hero in blue is needed, a hero in blue acts. Consequently Peter Hoy headed Bangor’s third goal. Sion scored our fourth to seal victory against the team of the gloating simpleton in the away dugout.
We’d done our part would the fates allow us to fulfil our glorious destiny?TNS 2 Llanelli 2 Welsh Premier League 7/4/12
The unwritten laws of honeymoons state that you’re not allowed to go and watch a football match. In my case this meant missing York City v Fleetwood. Unless you’re a football fanatic you couldn’t possibly know how hard it is for a football fanatic to walk in the opposite direction from a football crowd. They say married life changes your life but I didn’t think that I’d notice differences in a matter of hours.
In the evening I received a very charming text from Les. In actual fact the text made my day complete because it told me that TNS had drawn 2-2, just the result that Bangor needed. Now our destiny was back in our own hands. You know that things are going your way when your club doesn’t even play and results go in your favour.
I was put in such a good mood by the text I forgot the unwritten laws of honeymoons. I went to Bootham Crescent the following morning. I spit at pointless custom!Neath FC 1 Bangor City 3, Welsh Premier League, 15/4/12
This trip was one of the great moments of the season but we always knew that this match had the potential to become great. The fixtures, the course of the season and the events of last season meant that we already knew of the potentially beautiful possibilities.
The great events of the Easter weekend allowed us to dream that Bangor would gain the two wins we needed from our last two matches. The great events allowed us dream about becoming Welsh champions for a second season running. And why wouldn’t we dream after last Sunday, wasn’t this what happened last year? We also dreamed of the accoutrements that comes with being Welsh champions; another couple of games in the European Cup and loads more money to spend on stuff like the ground.
The last point may sound a little too mercenary and I suppose it is. However when you look the point from another angle it becomes far more socially acceptable. If Bangor City received the several hundred Euros from UEFA this will obviously stop The New Saints from receiving it. If the New Saints were to receive the bounty Penfold’s nefarious rule would be prolonged. There was tap-room gossip that The New Saints could go part-time if they were denied UEFA’s European Cup bounty. The right outcome would be sweet!!!
Mind you knowing about the right outcome leads to thinking about the right outcome and thinking about the right outcome led to hoping for the right outcome. Inadvertently hoping always leads to worrying, It was alright saying we’d win both matches but “What if we don’t win?” This is the trouble with hopes and dreams, they are often dashed when you’re too busy enjoying thoughts of what could be. It’s a vicious circle, you become hopeful, then the worries visit, then you become hopeful again, then the worries……. This well-known process, at least by me and my therapist, happened yet again.
Even though I was almost queasy with worry I must say that the journey down to Neath was very pleasant. The match was on a Sunday and the train service to south Wales was a bit ropey so this time I had to go by car . Livzy was driving and we picked up Phil and Mike on the way. It was all very pleasant, a good bit of moidering, a bit of food and some beverages.
Judging from the tone of conversations in the car other people were also worried about the outcome, but trying to take it easy. At some point our objective looked so easy, we only had to win two matches, at other points the problems were insurmountable; we were away in the last match on plastic and we were playing Neath, the best team in the league, today. I was confused, was I going to have a good day or a regrettable waste of time?
While the positive and negative parts of my brain were doing battle we drifted into an area with lovely scenery to look at. The breathtakingly beautiful Brecon Beacons were enhanced by the creation of a kaleidoscope of colour by the sun and clouds. After seeing the glorious vista everything felt good, I was so hopeful when we finally arrived in Neath that the only problem was not being able to find the appointed pub.
Inside the appointed pub the great and good of Bangor City were having a grand time, some were even having Sunday lunch. Today was the first appearance of the shadowy group “ The West London Blues”. “The West London Blues” had been set up by Phil and Cabs because they lived in West London and were Bangor City fans. Up until today the only member we’d seen were Cabs and Phil, there had been rumours of visits to Bangor matches but for one reason or another we failed to see the rest of them, it was very nice to finally see them.
As I had flags to arrange I left the pub earlier than everybody else. As I was putting the flags up a kindly steward came and told me that the Bangor fans could use the terraced stand behind the goal. I didn’t rejoice, we’d heard this before. I asked him if he was serious, he assured me he was. I stayed there for a couple of minutes, ostensibly checking the flags, just to see if I’d be ushered on. When I finished checking the flags I tried to look like I was contemplating a distant glorious future . When I remained undisturbed for another couple of minutes I realised the steward was actually telling the truth.
With a spring in my step I went in Neath’s clubhouse. I spread the good news and everybody seemed very happy with it; it was usually better supporting your team from behind the goal. In the clubhouse I met a lad from Cardiff. He writes a website called Contra and he seemed very happy that I was the owner / designer of flags. It’s quite humbling when someone you’ve never met says nice things about you.
The match was so much better than the doom and gloom that plagued me would have suggested, by the end we could even say that it was even better than last year. Of course this idea wasn’t evident at the start of the match so I couldn’t help worrying. I continued worrying after Les had smashed the ball in to the goal and I continued worrying after Peter Hoy Football Genius had doubled our lead. It was going too well, almost exactly like last year.
My head felt strange. There’s nothing like an unexpected 2-0 lead to make you feel like you’re on top of the world. The joy was so intense I felt funny sensations in my torso. If the first goal was fantastic for it’s sheer unstoppable quality the second goal was fantastic in its own way; there’s nothing like seeing an annoying keeper struggling to grasp a spinning football. Instead of displaying his usual composure he looks like he’s plagued by invisible killer bees. Seeing the frantic grasping motion really makes your day. Directly after the second goal I was dumbfounded for a couple of seconds because I couldn’t quite believe what I saw, when I realised that the ref had given the goal I was able to celebrate.
Unfortunately, there’s nothing like an unexpected 2-0 lead for making you worry about things turning out badly. My head was in a mess but with extreme joy and justifiable worries in my head at the same time it was no wonder my head was in a mess. Meanwhile, our new friend from Contra seemed to be enjoying himself.
Luckily we weren’t troubled that greatly by Neath after the second goal so I felt like I could deal with half-time in a good-natured way. I could even look favourably at the annoying kids with their annoying songs and fucking musical instruments. I saw Mark from Port Talbot during half-time and it’s always nice to see a friendly face.
We could actually stand behind the goal in the second half so that’s where we stood. Finally standing behind the goal was quite a good experience generally. At the start of the second half things didn’t look so good; Neath scored. After the goal everything flashed before my eyes and everything looked bad. When Neath managed to exert pressure the colour drained from my cheeks. Everything was turning to shit, no Europe next season, no trip!!!!
Then when a hero was needed, another blue hero scored; Smythy smashed the ball in to the goal. This was good, this was very good. The colour was back in my cheeks and everything looked great.
Everything continued to look great. It looked great when the Neath player was sent off, it looked great when Neath began to flounder, it looked great when we heard the final whistle and the players came over to acknowledge the massive following from Bangor. Everything looked fantastic on the way home, the sun was lighting out way, and all roads led into Europe!!!!
Yes!!! We were in Europe again!!! And we could win the league again. Everything was good!!!!TNS 5 Bangor City 0, Welsh Premier League, 21/4/12
Ever since last Sunday Bangor City had been poised to become Welsh Champions for the second year in a row. People were just so convinced it would happen. “How could it not happen?” was the look on the face of everyone. It felt like destiny was with us; the coaches, cars and minibuses were filled, S4C arrived to film us getting on coaches, the sun came out, eventually. Everyone believed, we all believed. How could it go wrong?
We arrived in Oswestry and it simply wasn’t going to go wrong. Oswestry’s pubs were packed out by a Bangor City party, blue and white was everywhere. We left for “the ground” at 1:45 with a song in our hearts and glory in our minds.
By 2:25 mostly everyone was in “the ground”. We were hopeful, we were joyful, we were expectant……..
By 2:50 the players had massed in the tunnel, fans could see their faces through the. One Bangor fan was heard to remark; “Baker looks frightened!!!”
By 3:25 Bangor City were trailing 3-0 to The New Saints of Oswestry and Llansantfraid FC, the soulless creation of Penfold’s imagination (Don’t ever believe Jeff Stelling). Destiny had kicked us all squarely in the bollocks. Consequently the Blue Army sought other entertainment.
In the second half we found our entertainment. It all started just before half time……
……The announcer announced that migration between ends was prohibited (by mutual consent they said).
We scoffed at this contravention of civil liberties. Fans of semi-pro teams value their right to migrate from one end to the other. If you ask me it was another case of dwarf-owner’s pettiness.
The Blue Army wasn’t going to take this lying down! Then we came across the flimsy plastic orange fencing (of the style you see around holes in the middle of pavements). We were quite literally stumped!!
Then we noticed that some of our ingenious Blue Army Comrades had decided to go through an exit gate; they were obviously heading for the area behind the TNS fans. After a minute or so we could see that they’d actually made it to the other end!! Then they went up the slope to enhance their viewing. At first there were four brave souls; Then there was a trickle; Then they segregated themselves; Then most of us were there; Then we gave the arranged signal (Taking our shoes off)……..;
…….Soon everybody from Bangor City was on to the hill (fans, directors, suspended players, club shop manager, Chairman). The nameless slope became “The Bangor Bank”.
We left eventually to salute our players for providing yet another European adventure;
Losing 5-0 in a title decider is not something that usually leads to a warm glow but the blue army had a warm glow today. We had a glow even though we knew we’d be denied European Cup football. We had a glow even though we knew the dwarf would have European prize money to keep his wet dream of a fake football club (think MK Dons in a 6-a-side complex) going. We had the glow even though we knew the players and fan(s) of TNS were in effect shitting on the soul of football by celebrating Penfold’s ability to fund his self-publicising bullshit.
We still had the glow because if legitimising a self-publicist’s wet dream is the price of success we’ll wear the title “runner-up” with pride.
By migrating, by creating “The Bangor Bank”, we’d shown all of them (MK Dons / Salzburg Red Bulls / Colne Dynamoes / My nemesis Platini) that the spirit of football won’t be stymied by a dwarf-owner with money. We had a smashing time migrating too!
But then we are fans of a proper club. A proper club that provides hot meals for returning fans. Would TNS have acted in a similar fashion in similar circumstances? Would they fuck, they have neither the feeling nor the imagination. After we arrived back in Bangor I looked around the new clubhouse and saw disappointment etched in faces and postures but I also saw a glow. This glow is all that will matter in years to come my friends because there will be a time when fake football clubs are consigned to the dustbin of history. The contrast between the two clubhouses is telling; Bangor’s clubhouse is full of memorabilia evoking social history whereas TNS’ clubhouse features a facsimile of a newspaper cutting with the headline; “HARRIS SILENCES HIS CRITICS”Rhyl 1 Bangor City 2, North Wales Coast Cup Semi-Final, 24/4/12
Bangor should have won by more than we did. In the first half we would have scored a couple with more accurate shooting and we would have created several chances with more accurate passing. Rhyl looked ok but didn’t look like scoring until Johnno made an uncharacteristic mistake in the last minute. Bully scored both out goals today. The first one was good enough by itself but Bully’s second goal was something else.
Bully’s second goal was quite possibly the best goal I’ve ever seen. The goal was a direct result of Rhyl equalising in the last-minute of a match they were lucky to still be in. Imagine the scene………….
…..The air is filled by the gloating of idiots, the ball is on the centre spot, Bully is standing in the centre circle. The ref blows his whistle and Bully receives possession of the ball…….
All Bully needed was a split second to see the keeper was slightly too far off his line. Bully had his chance so he decided to shoot………
The ball flew through the air, the idiots carried on gloating. the ball was level with the 18 yard line, the idiots carried on gloating, the ball looked like it was going to loop over the keeper!!!!!!, the idiots carried on gloating, the keeper tried to reach out to the ball, the idiots carried on gloating, the keeper touched the ball but couldn’t stop it, the idiots carried on gloating, the ball went in to the roof of the net and the idiots were stunned in to silence. It’s was a fanastic piece of improvised skill!!
Bully’s goals weren’t the only thing that perked me up, the songs sang by the Rhyl fans really did the trick too. The songs ran the full gamut!!! From unintended comedy; seamlessly moving from “Always defecate on the Bangor side of the Bridge!!” or “We at the Bangor haters!!!” one minute, to “WHO ARE YA?, WHO ARE YA?, WHO ARE YA?” the next. Via mind-bending surrealism of “Where were you when you were shit?” Before ending up at the frankly odd; “TNS, TNS, TNS, TNS“
You’d think that some of the Rhyl “fans” had only come to the match to hurl abuse at Bangor City fans. I normally hate to judge but when 50-60 people watch and try to goad the opposition fans instead of supporting “their” club you can’t help but judge. When you see impressionable teenagers being led by middle-aged blokes it’s certainly difficult not to judge.Preston North End 2 Charlton Athletic 2, League One, 28/4/12
I’ve already mentioned the stuff that happened on this day here and here. One last thing I will say is that it’s alway nice to hear jovial sarcasm from a man who knows how to destroy a person with words.
Here are some pictures to look at;