Just the time for last season’s match reports!

12 08 2011

After 3 months I’ve finally realised the significance of what Bangor City accomplished last season, therefore I have decided to take you on a journey  thorough the mists of time. Your humble narrator begins…………………….

Welsh Schools’ FA u18s 4 Wales u18s 1
Welsh Schools’ FA Centenary Match
19/4/11

 This week Bangor were due to play twice in south Wales on the Easter weekend so it seemed prudent to buy A Freedom of Wales pass. (Jet Set Travel Tip – A Freedom of Wales Pass enables you to travel all over Wales for 4 days, out of 8 days the pass is valid for, without fear of being thrown off a train) . I took the possession of this pass  as a chance to catch up with Owen,  a friend of the Jet Set now living in south Wales. A centenary match for the Welsh Schools’ FA in Port Talbot provided the perfect chance to catch up.

It was a hot day and some of Cardiff’s modern architecture is very interesting. Port Talbot was rather hot too. The Taffy Apples in the clubhouse were particularly refreshing. We thought a shady area was the best position. Unfortunately it was also in the shade where this half-arsed altercation happened.

The match took a rather surprising course.  It was a fairly even first half both in chances and goals. In fact both goals were very special. A quick look at the programme would revealed that the Wales side was drawn from clubs and the Welsh Schools’ side was drawn from schools and colleges. The schools’ side scored 3 goals in the second half. Call me weird but I’d have thought that if a side were going to pull away easily it would have been the one composed of players at full time clubs.

Rather interestingly, and charmingly, I  met a bloke with a very good knowledge of Bangor City and the Welsh Premier League. This is the beauty of football, which other social activity will allow you to travel for four and half hour and meet exactly the same sort of person at the other end?

On the way to the station we saw the signs and posters for Michael Sheen’s passion play, it was due to take place in Port Talbot over the Easter weekend. I hoped we see Mr. Sheen on Saturday as I was due back to Port Talbot to see the first of Bangor’s matches in our south Walian odyssey.

XXX XXX XXXXXX X Neath 3
Welsh Premier League
22/4/11

For most of  this Good Friday I was looking forward to my two trips to south Wales. I knew we wouldn’t win the league but the allure of travel is a strong pull. Besides if I went it would mean that by the end of the season I will have only missed 5 games. I simply had to be there! With the agonising a non-starter I had other things to concentrate on; XXX XXX XXXXXX’s match and the outside chance they would slip-up.

I thought they were playing at 3 pm so I wanted to check the score at about 4:45. Checking scores is merely a football fan’s habit out of habit, my mind was so focussed on the fact that the title race was over, something good could happen but I kept telling myself it was forlorn hope.

To cut a tedious story short  I forgot to check the score until about 6ish. When I tried to check  I couldn’t find the result. As the WPL has zero profile I just assumed freeview teletext must have got their information wrong and left it at that.

I went on Twitter at about 8:30 and found out that XXX XXX XXXXXX were winning 1-0, well that was definitely that then.

I went on Twitter at around 9:10 in the hope of hearing something positive; XXX XXX XXXXXX were now drawing 1-1 with Neath, my heart skipped a beat. Then it got a whole lot better rather quickly; a couple of minutes later XXX XXX XXXXXX were losing 2-1 and a couple of minutes later Neath were winning 3-1. Oh what threads our joy hangs by!!!!!

At about 9:25 I assumed the match must be at an end by now, as they usually finish at around 9:15. The situation was a bit unnerving as it was too good to be true, it was going our way again!

Then I found out that the score was now 3-2. The cold text was numbing. After a few minutes agonizing a kind soul let twitter know that XXX XXX XXXXXX had lost 3-2.

The turning point had been seen! Could we take advantage tomorrow?

Easter Weekend

Some photos of the Easter weekend matches are found here.

Cardiff City 2 QPR 2
n-power Championship
23/4/11

If it was Saturday then that must mean it was Port Talbot via Cardiff. With Bangor’s match not kicking off until 3:45 I originally feared kicking my heels. Luckily on Tuesday Phil offered me the use of his season ticket. I was quite excited by this prospect as I never been to see Cardiff play, the match was also a top of the table clash.

As it was another very hot day in south Wales so the Super Furry Animals song “Cardiff in the Sun” was on a loop in my head. I was all a flutter before the game, how would I get back to the station in time to get the train to Port Talbot? …….. Should I leave early to get the 2:48? (in this case I’d get to Port Talbot at about 3:20) …………. Should I watch the whole match and get the 3:06 to Port Talbot? (In which case I’d get to Port Talbot at 3:38) ………… Should I walk back? …………. Should I get a taxi? …………. Should I use the Freedom of Wales Pass on a Bus? ………….. Did I have enough money for a Taxi? ……….. Should I chance walking it?………

After a spot of lunch and a stroll around I headed to the ground on foot. This journey took about 20 minutes;  I’d be cutting it fine, walking was out. I was just turning the corner by Ninian  Park station when I became part of the mass of humanity. The slowly moving mass guided me past the grotty merchandise hawkers and the line of stationary cars almost poised to move.

While one of today’s questions had been settled there still remained another grey area; how was I supposed to use Cardiff’s season tickets? Cardiff’s season ticket is basically a plastic credit card. I’d worried about this since Phil had passed me the card.

From the point I went throught the old Ninian Park gates I felt paranoid I’d get found out because I couldn’t use the season ticket properly. It went without saying that  I’d be thrown out and Phil would get in trouble, of course  he’d have his season ticket removed and it will have been all my fault. I just knew this would happen.

My worries magnified  in the queue to the turnstile but I didn’t ask anyone, lest I awake the interest of the steward and get Phil in trouble. The cause of my worries, and the sign warning against “the use of colourful language”, reminded me how quickly football seemed to be  changing into something I wasn’t entirely comfortable with.

When the Steward stopped me I thought I’d had it. The game was very much up!!! Fortunately he didn’t wanted to string me up for looking shifty, he only wanted to check that I hadn’t forgotten any flags for Port Talbot. Just after I’d passed the gatekeeper’s test came the moment I was dreading came next; I actually had to go through the turnstile.

I was three people away from the turnstile. The queue behind were on top of me. What if I got it wrong? Not only would I get thrown out, I’d get Phil in trouble but there was a far, far greater problem; I would look like a complete tool.I’d be found out as a chancer, a Johnny-come-lately, a fraud.

I was now two people away from the turnstile…….. Then I was one person away ………….. Then IT WAS MY TURN, OH SHIT, HERE GOES NOTHING!!! …… I put the plastic card in the slot……. The moment of destiny……………

The green light and the  clicking of the turnstile were the greatest sights and sounds a man could experience. If only the pesky stadium designers hadn’t  opted for the full body length gate then I would have retained my dignity and street cred. The gate nearly garotted me by trapping the strap of my bag around one of its arms. I looked like a tool thanks to modern security paranoia.

Thankfully when I got to my seat I found that I had room to stretch out. I was right next to the QPR fans, they didn’t seem that bad, even with the unoriginal joke of throwing inflatable sheep around.

The match was quite interesting, it was easy enough to make a decision about who to support as I like Cardiff. The match also looked like Bangor v XXX XXX XXXXXX; QPR’s away kit was green and white hoops.

Cardiff seemed to have most of the play but could hold on to a lead. Cardiff scored their first goal  at the start of the first half but QPR’s Taarabt scored and then gestured at us. During the first half I was introduced to the best candidate for an aneurism I’d met for a bit. 1-1 half time.

During the second half Cardiff scored again, only for QPR to equalise with one of their few meaningful attacks. This didn’t seem particularly fair but since when has football been fair?

Throughout the second half I tried to work out the variables for my journey to the Port Talbot with the help of the stadium clock ……. I’ll leave with 10 minutes left ………. but the second half started a little later than it should …….. I’ll have to go with 15 minutes left ………. Is the stadium clock fast or slow?

I left with the clock reading 83 minutes gone. Unfortunately unfamiliarity with my location meant that I went the wrong way and I ended up by the fence guarding the away end. Thanks to security paranoia this meant a walk around the ground.

My plans always come unstuck in the end, instead of  avoiding the crowds I ended up in the middle of them. Don’t worry though, this is how the Jet Set rolls. Our motto is “If you’re not living on the edge you’re taking up too much room”.

Anyway I made it to Ninian Park station for the train back to Cardiff Central. On the train I met a bloke I recognise from going to Wales matches but he didn’t want to come to Port Talbot. I still did, so I got on the right train to Port Talbot.

Port Talbot Town 1 Bangor City 2
Welsh Premier League
23/4/11

Thankfully there was a Taxi waiting outside Port Talbot Parkway and I arrived two minutes before kick off. Thanks to the Jet Lag I didn’t find it particularly easy to tell which goal Bangor were attacking. Then I remembered that we were playing away so we were in the red shirts.

When I was in the middle of the ultras our bright destiny became tangible, even if it was destiny with a twinge of  tension and a soupςon of stress. On the other hand, even though XXX XXX XXXXXX had lost last night it still didn’t feel we had a real chance to still win the league, too much still had to go in our favour. It still seemed to be the tallest of tall order, especially after the last few matches.

When Port Talbot scored there was hardly any wailing or gnashing, just resignation. Never mind we’d still be in Europe said the ultras. The some bright spark remembered that we still need a point to secure a European place. He also reminded us that the team behiund us, Neath, beat XXX XXX XXXXXX last night. He went on to remind us that Neath could catch us, and that we will be playing them on Monday. Of course this voice could have been the pessimistic angel on my shoulder that’s taken to speaking to me in the last few weeks, I should stop eating cheese after 11:30 pm.

Then the people were worried. Captain Bangor, Cabs and Phil tried to stimulate the singing and this helped. It even seem to help the players as we looked far more dangerous after the singing began. We had corner after corner, we had chance after chance. We hit the post, we had shots cleared of the line, their keeper made last-gasp saves, then we thought we’d scored but no, we hadn’t.

The ball was in the box in the minute before half time when a stampede of feet caused a dust cloud to arise from the grassless part of the six yard box. The next thing we know the ref had blown his whistle and was walking back to the halfway line. It turned out that the magician Alan Bull had poked the ball in. When the cloud finally cleared the only you could see was a cheering mass of the blue army and a disconsolate custodian.

The second half was a cagey affair. Bangor were back in the title race because all we had to do was win the second half, one goal could be enough. A solitary goal was the tender thread by which our glory hung. Bangor tried from the whistle, Port Talbot tried as well, it was nip and tuck, tuck and nip, hubble bubble toil and trouble, dusty and dustier. The dream seemed to be fading, we were becoming accustomed to the denial of destiny again. Never mind, at least we wouldn’t lose the league in the decider against XXX XXX XXXXXX.

Then the magician Alan Bull gained possession of the ball on the left hand side of the pitch, he then ran past defenders, he mocked their challenges, he was in the middle of the goal, then he went past another defender, then another, then as he was continuing on the inexorable path across the goal the magician made his foot propel the ball at  such an outlandish angle it actually went behind him.

The ball casually rolled over the turf, casually past the outstretched keeper’s hands and then casually into the side netting. Then the moment of glory was upon us, we were ahead!!!

Did I dare to believe that this was happening? Did I dare to believe this wasn’t the matrix playing a trick? Just then I snapped out of my existential angst as I had to deal with a searing pain in my ankle; I had managed to twist my ankle celebrating. Unluckily for me this wasn’t the type of pain that Harry Palmer used in the Ipcress File to distract himself from brainwashing. It was dull ache that couldn’t disguise the tangible pressure.

Port Talbot continued to attack and every attack was a potential nightmare, fortunately each attack was wasted.

Unfortunately my time perception was rather acute, it just would not pass quickly enough. In the last five minutes Port Talbot had another chance, then another chance, then a few more.

Meanwhile Bangor tried to dribble the ball into the corner with every attack instead of actually shooting. Every time this happened Port Talbot seemed to win the ball back and launch another heart-stopping attack.

All I can say is our relief at the final whistle was rather good. Neath was calling.

Neath FC 1 Bangor City 2
Welsh Premier League
25/4/11

Travelling down to south Wales was fast becoming a commute.

After another journey to south Wales in sunlight I arrived at the Gnoll and a cheery face told me, “I hear your train was delayed”. Then one of the Neath stewards came over smiling “Are you Matt? You can put the flags behind the goal. I hear your train was late!!” Just after I arrived in the clubhouse a well-known Bangor face exclaimed “How did you miss your train then?”

They say the art of human communication is dead but I’d only texted one person to tell them I’d be a little late (a mix-up between the car’s clock and the real time) and yet everybody knew I’d be late.

There was trepidation around this match, we were back in the hunt for the league but the circumstances weren’t as promising as they could be. If we lost today and XXX XXX XXXXXX won, they’d be champions, if we drew it was the same. It didn’t help that we were playing Neath as they could be good. For example on Friday they became the first club to beat XXX XXX XXXXXX at home. They had also beaten Bangor 6 weeks ago. Besides we were with dealing XXX XXX XXXXXX in the other half of the situation and you can’t expect two football miracles to happen in 3 days. I couldn’t help worrying.

After the match began it seemed as though the players were up for the challenge, their belief was back!!!! This team was almost unrecognisable from the team of three weeks ago. The passing was good, the running was good and there was a tempo to it all, we even had a few shots.

All of a sudden Bangor were ahead. Then it was 2-0. This was it, back in the groove. It didn’t even matter that XXX XXX XXXXXX were winning. We were winning 2-0, 2-0, it was 2-0!!!!! My eyes could see the scoreboard and they had seen Bangor score twice but my mind could  believe it. I had seen Garside score twice, I had seen a brilliant header over the advancing keeper. I had seen it but I couldn’t believe that it had happened. I couldn’t believe how easy it was.  This was like walking on air, there can’t be many moments when your hoped for plans come to fruition this easily. The rest of the half was a bit of a daze really.

The lightness of being continued in the second, the only dark cloud on the horizon was the intransigence of the cultured door staff at half time but that’s another unwanted story. The floaty feeling stopped when the enormity of what Bangor could achieve by winning dawned on me.

The world became horribly technicolour again. It wasn’t an altogether pleasant experience watching Neath as they could have scored. That they decide not to score only prolonged the agony. The scoreboard clock worked like a metronome covered in treacle. It dictated our mood, our feelings, our sanity.

This is what the last 35 minutes looked like in my mind………

 55 minutes………..56 minutes ……… Tick ………. Tock ……. 57 minutes …………… 58 minutes ……………. Tick………….. Tock ………….. Tick …………… Tock ……………… 59 minutes ……….. Tick ……………. Tock ………….. 60 minutes …………….. Tick ………….. TOCK ………… TICK ………… TOCK…………………. High noon was approaching…………… 65 minutes …………… 66 …………………… 66 …………………….. 66 ……….. Wait a minute the bloody thing has stuck ……………… The man in the black hat was coming down the road …………….. 68 minutes …………………. 69 minutes ……………. Tick ………………. Tock …………. The hope the hope, the two-faced imposter known as hope, the spirit of christ compels you, the spirit of christ ……………….. It’s not the disappointment I can’t stand it’s the hope, that cruel mistress of a fan’s emotions  ……………… 72 minutes …………… Tick …………………… Tock …………… Another Neath chance …………. 73 minutes ………………. Another Neath chance ………………. LAUNCH IT, JUST FUCKING LAUNCH IT!!!!! ………… 75 minutes …………. 75 minutes …………. That fucking clock has stopped again …………… 75 minutes ……………. Trundle on the ball ……… Tick …… SHIT, HE’S STILL GOT IT ……. Tock ….. Thank fuck he missed  …….. 76 minutes ………………. TICK ……………… TOCK …………….. TICK ……………… TOCK ………….. TICK …………. TOCK ……………….. 76 MINUTES …………….. SEV-EN-TY SI……… NO ………….  SEV – ENN -TTTYYYYY SEV-EN …………..  “SEE THEY’VE SLOWED TIME DOWN, THEY’VE GOT A MACHINE OVER THERE …………………. STEVEN HAWKING IS CONDUCTING AN EXPERIMENT” ………. 78 minutes ………… TICK …………. TOCK ………….. TICK ………….. TOCK …………… Trundle has the ball, shiiiiiiiiiittttttttttttt…………….. Thank Fuck he missed!!!!!! …………………… TICK ……………………. TOCK …………………………… TICK ……………………………….. TOCK ………………….. 79 MINUTES ……………………….. 80 MINUTES ……………………. TICK ………………………… TOCK ……………………. 81 MINUTES ……………….. TRUNDLE HAS THE BALL …………. SHIT TRUNDLE HAS FUCKING SCORED ………………………………. 83 minutes ……….  JESUS, A NEATH THROW IN  …………………………………….. 84 minutes …………………….. TICK ………… TOCK …………. TICK ………… TOCK ………. TICK …………….. 85 minutes ………………. CHRIST, NEATH HAVE A CORNER ……………………………. Thank fuck the ball went over …………… TICK …………… TOCK ………….. 86 minutes …………………… Tick ……………………. 87 minutes ………………………… Tock ……………….. 88 minutes ………………….. TICK,  TOCK, TICK, TOCK ………………………. tick, tick, tick, tick, tick , there’s a time bomb under Bangor’s season ………………….. There’s an unpleasant ending I can just feel it, it was all going too well ……………………. 89 minutes ………………. TICK ……………. TOCK ………………. TICK ………………….. TOCK …………………….. HE’S COMING OUT WITH THE BOARD …………………… 4 MINUTES, 4 FUCKING MINUTES, WHERE DID THAT COME FROM? ……………………………. TICK …………………….. TICK …………………… TICK ………………. TICK …………………. TICK ……………………… 91 minutes ish ………………………….. TICK ………………….. TICK ……………….. TICK ……………………… 91 minutes ish …………………………….. This bomb’s going to destroy everything, all our hope, all our dreams ………….. Not in the corner, DON’T TAKE IT IN THE FUCKING CORNER, NOT THE FUCKING CORNER!!!!!!! ………………….. 93 MINUTES ISH? ………. Jesus Trundle’s got the ball, Jesus, close him down, block the shot, BLOCK THE SHOT!!!!!! ……………………. TICK ……………………. TOCK …………. TICK TICK TICK TICK …………. GOTTA BE TIME NOW, GOTTA BE ……… The whistle’s in his mouth, that’s it ………………………… THAT’S IT WE’VE WON, WE’VE DONE IT!!!!

I had the nicest journey back from south Wales, everything was joyful.

72 hours before everything had been hopeless as XXX XXX XXXXXX were heading inexorably to their title, the message boards were in unison with Rhys Griffiths; we’d blown it well and truly after our mammoth lead. They were laughing, sniggering, You’ve Blown it, YOU’VE BLOWN IT. they said.

It turned out the knobheads were all wrong. All we needed to do now was beat XXX XXX XXXXXX at Farrar Road and we’d be champions.

Bangor City 1 XXX XXX XXXXXX X
Welsh Premier League
30/4/11

Here are some photos of “The Great Day”

Today had a feeling quite unlike any other day.

In the hours before kick off there were good vibes, a righteous feeling, a hum of destiny, a crackle of tension, a fizz of excitement. There was a pronounced giddiness in the air.

Usually there are only a few of us in Farrar Road 2 hours before kick off but today we were being overrun. It was all far from normal, there was a segregated section for XXX XXX XXXXXX legitimisers for crying out loud. The crowds started really filtering in about an hour and a half before kick off and we did a roaring trade in chequered flags. On the terraces the giant flags fluttered as the crowd was building.

You know there was going to be a big crowd when people were sitting on the terrace an hour before kick off. Everyone was waiting for destiny to turn up, they were hoping for history, hungry for history. As the time passed the crowd became a monstrous size.

The crowd, the crowd, this was what it was all about. First things first, I’d like to thank them for finally remembering where Farrar Road is. Then I’d like to thank them more for obscuring my view. Then I’d like to thank them for preventing me from using my normal spot. Then I’d like to thank them embellishing the occasion with their comments; here’s a sample;

“We’ll be on s4c today”

– “S4c!!!, Yeah great, I’ve been on Sky Sports News mate”

Mind you they weren’t the only people to disparage s4c, Gary from Blogdroed told us that XXX XXX XXXXXX legitmisers had exactly the same attitude when they were arriving.

“Calm Down it’s only fucking Welsh telly

I’ll let the statement about XXX XXX XXXXXX legitimisers settle…….. For a start it refers to XXX XXX XXXXXX legimisers, i.e. there were some.

Yes that’s LEGITIMISERS in the plural sense. I don’t mean the usual group of annoying loudmouth “I told you so” philosophers. There were about 100 of the fuckers. This was how historic the day was; XXX XXX XXXXXX brought 100 legitimisers with them. In fact they “sold out” the “away end”.

Then I’d like to thank the barechested  bodybuilder types that decided to walk past me after 40 minutes gone. The line of 200 beefcakes interrupted my viewing pleasure for the fully five minutes. With such a massive the crowd it was difficult to  remember that I was at a Bangor City football match, part of me felt I was at a carnival or something, so many people, so many people.

Despite the evidence of my eyes and my clear mind knowing that I was at a football match, I couldn’t feel like I was actually at a proper match  My isolation from the people that normally go didn’t help, nor did the fact that I couldn’t actually see the play properly because of the vast crowd. From what I actually saw of the first half, it was comfortable tension. If anything we had the better chances. their keeper made one really good save for the XXX XXX XXXXXX but that was our clearest chance.

It was more of the same in the second half, an obscured view and more comfortable tension. Bangor looked more dangerous from what I could see. XXX XXX XXXXXX looked a little jittery and some of their players  were a little bad tempered. It looked like if we kept our heads we could win.

The tension was so tangible I could almost taste it. The massive crowd meant that a few impatient people had turned up with their stupid comments to add to the tension. Some of them had hardly been to Farrar Road all season but they were cursing as if their lives depended on a Bangor victory. Odd no?

The goal we’d all been craving arrived in the 66th minute. This goal was probably the most important goal that I’ve seen at Farrar Road since the ninth goal against Carmarthen in 1994. I say seen but I didn’t actually see it; the crowd got in my way and I didn’t actually see the ball cross the line. All I had to rely on was the crowd reaction.

I definitely knew that Bangor had score when I was being grabbed from behind by the people standing around me.  This felt like  the single greatest moment I could remember being  Bangor City fan. I know that now, thanks to Sky, our sporting lives are  a constant renewal of GREATEST MOMENT EVER, but this was the genuine article for me. The significance of this goal was just too important for it to be anything else.

The trouble with scoring an all-important, and decisive, goal in the 66th minute is that there is still 24 minutes to play. That’s 24 minutes of the most horrible tension. I must have been the only one worrying because I could feel the ground moving due to the hundreds of people partying to my right. Feeling the ground move was the  most extraordinary sensation I’ve ever felt at Farrar Road and reinforced the idea that that this was a very special day, it reminded me that we just needed to hang on……

70 minutes gone………75 minutes gone ……… 80 ……….. 85 ………… During this time XXX XXX XXXXXX brought on the speedy Berkeley 86 minutes gone………………….. 87 minutes …………….. 88 …………… 89 ………………………. “Full Time” …………………… 91 ……………………………. 92 ……………………………………………………….. 93 ………………………………………………………. 94 …………………………………………………………………………………………………… 95 minutes .

Then I saw the referee, that bastard in the blackest shade of black, had the whistle between his lips. I could see this but I was the only one to notice. For the briefest of milliseconds I was ahead of everybody else, for a millisecond  I was the only person aware that Bangor City were the Welsh Champions. For the only moment in the match I had a clear an unobstructed view of something important. For a millisecond I was aware that our hopes had been fulfilled before everybody else. This was beyond odd, it was ethereal, I was omnipresent and omniscient, I could see the future, I had the power.

Then the hoi-polloi caught up and they were so happy with the event they decided to invade the pitch, an endeavour I felt compelled to join in with. I staggered around in a stunned daze, this was it, my hopes had come true, this was how it felt to be a champion!!!!!!

I continued in a daze as I took photos, as I bought the new Bangor shirt off Brian, as I walked to the Regency, as I chatted with Gary from Sgorio. I don’t remember much apart from the glorious sun.

After reaching the Regency I vaguely remember the songs, the hugs and laughter, most of all I remember the intoxicating sunshine. This really was a day for heroes and glory, for hugs and singing, hugs and laughter, hugs and selling merchandise at very strange prices.

I left the pub and forgot to get my train. I forgot to get the bus, I didn’t care, this was not the night for mundane world of timetables this was a night for walking around corners under the warming duvet of success.

At approximately 9:00 on 30th April 2011 I truly felt the glorious glow of glory, ’twas good to be alive that April day!!

Llanelli 4 Bangor City 1
Welsh Cup Final
5/5/11

Here are some photos of the day

The whole day felt like an anti-climax.

Three weeks earlier the Welsh Cup Final felt like a path to glory, the league was lost, gone and we were THE cup team. We would win our fourth consecutive cup and equal Cardiff’s record. Then there would be another trip to Europe. I chose not to look at our terrible form, I disregarded the slings and arrows of the naysayers.

Then we won the league and the one down side of that was the Welsh Cup suddenly fell in significance. What glory driven trollops us fans are. The Welsh Cup was a faithful friend for the last three years, offering reassurance that we were somebodies, that we were a great club but  now we’d got into bed with the Champions League and the old dented tin pot was now so last century.

I tried to remember the four in a row idea, I tried to remember the Double possibilities, I tried have a laugh about it all with the other coach passengers, but it was no use, I couldn’t shrug off the sense of anti-climax. It stayed there. Then halfway to Llanelli something told me that the day would end badly. It didn’t matter how the drinks tasted, it didn’t matter how the jokes sounded, it didn’t matter, we were going to lose.

We lost, and lost badly.

Llanelli deserved to win no question. They went into an early lead and never really looked like giving it up. It was a strangely quiet first half from Bangor City. The second half was a bit better. We scored and tried to apply a bit of pressure. Unfortunately Llanelli scored a couple more and so won quite easily. To be honest I didn’t care as much as should have. It was another game at the end of the long season and my third trip to south Wales in 2 weeks, I was tired, the players were tired.

Well Done to Llanelli.

Prestatyn Town 2 Port Talbot Town 1
Europa League Play Off Semi Final
23/5/11

Here are some photos of the day.

About a week before this match someone thought it would be nice to go along and support Port Talbot as we have developed a good friendship. Some of their Ultras had popped along to the Welsh Cup Final so we thought it would be a nice idea to return the compliment. I turned up in the bar and was saluted by Nigel and the other blue army intellectuals present. It was all good stuff. A Prestatyn fan had a go at Mash for the cheek of wearing his Bangor City bucket hat.

The binary thought process , and hysterical paranoia, of some internet-based fans has led to a sense of rivalry between Prestatyn Town and Bangor City, at least in the eyes of Prestatyn fans. In the eyes of Bangor City fans Prestayn fans shriek like attention starved teenagers. They seem to be aping their manager Neil “Look at me, look at me, why aren’t you showing my respect?” Gibson.

Unfortunately the match didn’t go the way of Port Talbot. It started to go Port Talbot’s way, and was mostly went their way. Port Talbot scored an early goal but Prestatyn hit back with two late goals to seal victory. The second goal was just the excuse  the whiny teenagers in Prestatyn’s support need to gloat in that irritating style beloved of teenagers.

It was a fantastic experience to stand with the Port Talbot fans, the sheer inventiveness of their repertoire is very impressive. How many fans have you heard sing songs with the tune of Heartbeat on the Can-Can dance?.

Nigel, Marc and the other PTT Ultras are some of the true gents in the Welsh Premier League. Long may the friendship continue!!!

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