A new local derby

30 11 2007

Bangor City 2 Llangefni Town 2
Welsh Premier League

Last week I was walking through Llangefni chanced upon someone I knew from Bangor. As we made social chit chat he asked ; “Do you think there’ll be any trouble next week?” Bangor were due to play Llangefni. The question threw me but after I’d readjusted my credulity I retorted; “Trouble!!!!! We’ll be lucky if there any Llangefni fans.” Yesterday I saw him again. This time he warned me of an unholy alliance between Rhyl and Llangefni fans, they’d worked it all out in the League Cup game on Tuesday apparently.

Rhyl and threat of violence. It was the continuing theme of this week, a dark cloud that won’t shift. Luckily I’d be in the shop and shielded from most of the rowing. To judge from the ones that entered the premises Llangefni fans seem to be a peaceful bunch, if a little pessimistic. One young fan predicted a hammering for them.

I did rather well today, I sold about £175 worth of stuff. I missed the first 10 minutes of the match. On several occassions I was going to close the shop then along came more people. Usually these groups consisted of a dad and sons. This is usually a bad sign if you are waiting to close the shop as they’ll want to browse. After the third time I became tetchy but I utilised the Zen-like part of my personality to remember that I was there for the greater cause.

As a result of my higher calling I missed the first goal. I thought it was ours as the cheer was rather loud. After I finally left the shop I noticed something was wrong; Bangor were attacking the St.Paul’s end and not the usual Farrar end. This showed a shocking lack of decorum from Llangefni. Then someone told me that Llangefni had scored the goal, so there was temerity on top of a lack of decorum. The main reason for the loudness of the goal cheer was the presence of so many ‘Gefni fans. The stand was full and the Farrar end was almost full, obviously not everyone was from the sticks.
The first half was a bit of a non-event. The weather perfectly mirrored the performance. Changable, blustery and a a lot worse that earlier in the week. Llangefni stuck to their game plan of frustration. Several times the rain fell more heavily and then stopped roughly three minutes later. This too was also frustrating. It left you wet but just as the the wind was drying you you’d become wet again. The effect of the uncomforatbly clingy damp feeling was probably exacerbated by Bangor’s underwhelming performance. The usually solid looking defence looked rather shaky. At the other end Bangor’s strikers looked to be misfiring and mishitting. 0-1 at the break.

After another extended period in the shop I made my usual journey to the boardroom to stash the stock. Some of the drinkers were singing “We only need 10 men” I thought this was a numerically incorrect reference to the Caersws match so I moved on to the Farrar End.

I found the end crowded with blues, Llangefni fans and students (they got in for free today. This season the offer seemed to have yielded a better response than last season; approximately 6 (out of roughly 8,000 students) graced Farrar Rd with their presence). The high number of spectators was even more impressive considering the weather.
There was something wrong on the pitch; Bangor had less players. The second indisputible detail was the identity of the missing player, Swanick. There was no light shed on the reason for his non-appearance. At least I now knew the reason for the half-time singing. Walshy had replaced Sion.

Bangor tried to play their football as we know they can. Llangefni seemed to be more organised than Caersws so their smothering defensive technique worked effectively aginst Bangor’s reduced numbers although Bangor did force some corners and create some chances.

Llangefni scored again. They’d defended well but didn’t deserve to be leading 2-0. It was typical Bangor of the last few seasons. We’d had two fantastic results in the last 6 days and we were losing against the League’s new boys. New boys that who were bottom of the league to boot. Their cheering fans were an irritation. To be fair to Ywain Gwynedd, the shot was a very good one right into the top corner

The day became even worse. First Killackey was taken off, then Lee Webber collapsed. The reason was unknown but it was serious enough for him to be removed from play on a stretcher. Peter Hoy, Webber’s replacement, made some good looking runs but the attacks came to nothing. It definitely wasn’t going to be our night. Not only were Llangefni defending stoutly in numbers but they were also the beneficiaries of luck; a couple of miskicks found their way to the goalie instead of just beyond his grasp. The frustration was externalised all around me. This shouldn’t be happening after all.

Yes, this was going to be embarrassing and ruin our good run. Two facts contributed to the situation; We simply hadn’t played well enough to win and Llangefni had stuck to their plan. They hadn’t helped football evolve into a finer art but they were effective. I can’t have been the only Bangor fan to have a certain opinion pop into their anger-riddled minds; “Surely if they had’ve played this well in their other games they wouldn’t be bottom of the League.”

Of course this was a local derby and the fact that Bangor seem to be the yardstick by which clubs judge themselves around here, (yes even you Rhyl) mean that this would be an important match for them and consequently the effort would be increased. This was the case today and it happens in football, it’s frustrating but there’s always next time. On the other hand, what of our hopes of climbing the table. At first it was a mixture of philosophical acceptance and anger at being in this situation. This developed into resignation; we should concentrate on the cups, yes they were our best hope this year. Aberystwyth yes!!! Something to look forward to. Forget the League, we weren’t going to win it any way. Just forget today and put it to one side, Aber in February was what mattered now. 90 minutes came and went.

Walshy shot and the ball swerved around the despairing dive of Jackson. Yes!!!!!!!!! Now we had a chance!!! The announced timed the goal at 91 minutes. Ah well, the Welsh Cup, Aberystwyth, February, that was the one. Then as if the script had been written by the cheesiest of Americans we arrived into the fourth minute of injury time. The ball flew into the box from the wing, Stotty met it and the ball was in the goal. YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!! The League was ours now !!! Stotty was into the crowd. The crowd was a mass of joy, the Bangor fans anyway. It felt like a victory, as these types of draws tend to. We all left with a spring in our steps at this. There was definitely something about the Bangor team of Nev.

We were certainly getting entertainment this season. What next? Down to 7 players in the semi against Rhyl, 4-0 down after 65 minutes. Then we go on to win 5-4 thanks a last minute Lee Hunt own goal, here’s hoping.




One response

29 12 2007

To the person that posted a comment:

One of the internet’s guiding principles is free speech and I think you’d be well advised to remember this point if you choose to read this blog.

If you have constructive criticism to make or you wish to highlight a factual error then feel free to leave a comment. However if you are simply responding with a barrage of insults please spare the world, remember, this is the potential audience, your thoughts.

Why don’t you simply choose NOT to read this to save yourself from the stress.

To put it more simply; If you Don’t like it, DON’T READ IT!!!!!

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