Coastal clashes

17 12 2013
Rhyl 0 Bangor City 0
Welsh Premier League
30/11/13

You could tell that it was our first proper visit to Belle Vue in four years. There was a sense of anticipation in the air, a sense of history in our heads, a proper ground under our feet and segregation in our faces.

After a few crossed wires I ended up in a pub called The Swan. I can’t recall a more pleasantly sedate pre-match hour in Rhyl. This is a fitting testament to the combined presence of Noel, Dylan and Bangor’s “Cardiff Branch”. The Swan had certainly changed in the 15 years since my last visit.

Half the crowd were Bangor fans so it was nice to see that in an ever-changing soccer world some things don’t change. Thankfully the match was better than August bank holiday’s non-entity; we were much better and missed chances galore. Ramsey’s fantastic performance in Rhyl’s goal didn’t help us at all.

In other news four toothless Danny Dyer wannabes felt safe enough behind the temporary fences to walk around the ground and sing songs about “Inbred Bangor Scum” and the police allowed hometown scallies the chance to congregate and wait for the Bangor fans heading to the station by keeping us in the ground for an extra ten minutes.

During the kettling most Bangor fans portrayed an air of quiet confidence about next week’s Welsh Cup match with Rhyl; their defence looked a little jittery and they generally didn’t seem as cohesive as we expected. While there was a good chance that it would be the same again next week we all know what football is like.

nov 30 017

Rhyl 1 Bangor City 2
Welsh Cup
7/12/13

There were more of us in The Swan this week. The noted anticipation of the Welsh Cup added something to the moidering and we veered from pubs with turnstiles on the Isle of Man to the sexual habits of giant whales. It was not only alcoholic drinks that pushed us into merriness, we also realized that we couldn’t hear Michael Owen on the television.

Today’s match is how you want a cup tie to be like, a local derby with rivals that make things uncomfortable by confounding expectations (A frisson of excitement caused by stress anxiety really peps ups a match by introducing uncertainty).

When you throw in the songs of the returning toothless intellectuals, a harshly awarded penalty for Rhyl, a brilliantly headed equaliser and a “second half of nip and tuck on the knife edge of the precipice of promise” you could sense would-be epicness. One mistake could’ve spelled disaster, one slip could’ve spelled doom.

Needless to say we had the last laugh in injury time when Sion dribbled the ball past the entire Rhyl defence and passed the ball past the static keeper in injury time.

That is how to win a local derby in the Welsh Cup.

dec7 011

Prestatyn Town 0 Bangor City 0
Welsh Premier League
14/12/13

If ever there was a match where portents pointed towards a Bangor victory this was the match; Les was returning from a 3 game suspension and Prestatyn had at least 4 regular first team players suspended. All week a very pleasing hammering of Prestatyn and their snide of a player-director of football seemed likely and that’s just the sort of thought to warn you on a long winter night.

Everything was fine until I missed the start of the match because of a misunderstanding about train times. As I alighted in Prestatyn I noticed a bitter wind. The bitter wind was the man of the match; it was all over the pitch and didn’t stop moving all game.

It’s only ever been sunny twice in matches at Prestatyn and both times the low sun partly obscured our view of the match. I don’t think it’s been properly sunny on the North Wales Riviera since Holiday on the Buses.

Dec14 001

 

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