Level with the big boys

16 02 2008

Bangor City 1 Llanelli 1
Welsh Premier League

The second tough game in a week. First the pub battlers of Rhyl now the full timers of Llanelli. Instead of a Hispanic influence, as in yesteryear, Llanelli now have a more home-spun emphasis; they have two ex-Welsh interantionals on their books; Matt Jones, sent off against the USA and Andy Legg, the giant throw in man. Of course this should have been a tough game, Llanelli were partly full time. However it wouldn’t be tough in the sense of a Rhyl-like physical battering Llanelli actually threaten to play football.

My faith in humanity was restored today. Someone came into the shop to pay for something. Why don’t you ring the papers I hear you cry sarcastically. What made this act remarkable was the gentleman in question obtained his goods at around Chritsmas time. What lovely, moralisitic fans we have.
After basking in this warm feeling I heard my name mentioned several times outside the shop. After enquiring I became part of a quiz team. What I’d heard was a battle of wills and like all titanic struggles we were witnessing the preliminary stages, the trash talking. If I had actually seen it it would have probably been an unedifying sight.

We were attacking the St.Paul’s end, we shuld be used to this now. On a very positive note we were warm in the pleasant spring sunshine. Llanelli’s keeper was wearing our orange keeper’s shirt, all that money and only one goalkeeper’s shirt, tut tut. The first half was quite good in terms of entertainment and the standard of Bangor’s play. We could have scored a couple, as in every match. In fact you could probably say that about every match ever played under association rules. Why do I descend into cliche? I must try harder, I will try harder!!! The Full timers could have scored a couple of times (Try harder!!!!) but I suppose you could have said we shaded the first half in terms of our potential for victory, ours cast a bigger shadow over Farrar Road than their’s. I’ll leave the last comments of the half to a young chap next to the pitch; “Why haven’t you got your own goalie shirt, can’t you afford it? SHAME ON YOU!!!!” You can’t say fairer than that.

At half time a person entered the shop, again this is not very note worthy in itself. This person seemed different and he was different. Most new visitors take a cursory look around, poke around in the programmes, ask if we have a badge, buy the badge shown and then leave. My visitor seemed to be rather taken aback by the club shop. He was from Canada and it was definitely very heart warming to see a visitor so enamoured of our club’s surroundings. A new fan was born here today, he promised to return.

Either the second half began early or some inconsiderate buggers entered the shop to browse but not buy. In short I missed the first five minutes. After I arrived on to the terrace I began to have a conversation. As a result my head was turned and I missed the exact sequence of events. The tableau of annoyed faces told me all I needed to know; Llanelli had scored. For the rest of the half Llanelli looked reasonably comfortable without doing very much. Their defence withstood; Holland and Lloyd always seemed to touch the ball at an opportune moment. If we did manage to get through the defence the ball was either mishit, bounced the wrong way or bobbled. Llanelli didn’t seem to create many chances though.

Bangor perked up with the introduction of Noony and Killackey. The passing became sharper, the desire returned and the shots rained in. There was no goal to show for our efforts SO a fair number of the crowd appeared to have one foot outside, metaphorical speaking. Then Stotty ran on to a through ball and passed the ball into the goal. Another late goal.
Now we looked like a team possessed, possessed with skill and desire but no luck. The almost departees now remained. The action was frenetic; Webber nearly headbutted the post, we hit the bar and shots were cleared off the line. The whistle went and we all left feeling better than 20 minutes earlier.

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