HAVING had their weekend off to party over Christmas, some of the Kon-X Anglesey League players shook of the festive blues to return to the pitch on Saturday afternoon.
Kevin Jones’ Arriva Bangor returned to action as they took on an in-form Bryngwran Bulls side, whilst the league’s two reserves sides – Llangoed and Pentraeth also faced off. The third and final fixture saw Valley Athletic take on Mynydd Tigers in a top of the table clash.
Bodorgan’s match against Cargybi was posptoned thanks to the pitch being unplayable and Llandegfan had the weekend off due to the odd number of sides playing in the division.
Here’s how the teams that DID play got on …
Arriva Bangor 3-1 Bryngwran Bulls
Bryngwran Bulls suffered a huge blow in their quest for promotion this season as they fell to a surprising defeat at the hands of the ever-improving Arriva Bangor side.
Prior to this match, the Bulls had been on a very good run of games but went into this tie missing a few big names, including top scorer James Ryan. Credit where credit is due though, Arriva dominated from early on.
Prolific striker Scott Hughes netted his 20th goal of the campaign as he struck a superb free-kick on two minutes to give the home side the lead at Bangor City’s 4G pitch.
More and more chances fell at Arriva’s feet and it wasn’t long before they doubled their advantage. Andy Clarke maed it 2-0 with a fine chip over Bulls keeper Roy Sayle.
As the game went on, the visitors finally began to show a bit of their usual characteristics. A change in formation on half time (4-3-3) seemed to do the trick for Richard Owen’s men as they created more chances and looked more dangerous.
Bryn Jones was denied from close range twice by good saves and on 74 mins, they missed a penalty. The ever-reliable Andrew Bailey stepped up and missed his first ever penalty for the Bulls as a fantastic save from Arriva’s Dion Lewis denied him.
The visitors persistence finally paid off just moments later however as substitute Barry Edwards whipped in a great ball that Bailey, this time, put way with a great header.
Chances continued to fall for both sides and it looked as though the Bulls could have secured themselves a point after being 2-0 down yet again – something they have done often this season.
On 85 mins Bailey had the ball in the net again. Hughes had once again saved brilliantly but a scramble on the floor saw Bailey poke the ball in only for it to be cancelled out by the ref for a supposed infringement on the keeper.
Arriva then punished the Bulls in the dying moments of the match as Andy Clarke broke through and smashed home his second of the match to hand the home side a memorable win.
It was a harsh result for the Bulls, but it will no doubt open their and everybody else in the league’s eyes to the fact that Arriva Bangor are not just there to make up the numbers this season.
Llangoed & District Reserves 4-1 Pentraeth Reserves
The league’s two reserves sides also squared off this Saturday and it was Dewi Williams’ Llangoed who came out on top.
An even first half saw both teams defending well, but also saw a goal produced by both sides.
Llangoed struck first after a lovely ball from Justin Williams found the head of 16 year old Nathanial Evans who headed down to Arwyn Morris who scored. Pentraeth soon equalising before half time thanks to a goal from Urien Elfryn.
In the second half, Llangoed began to take charge and Pentraeth were forced into making substitutions due to injuries. Pentraeth continued to attack the Llangoed back four however, but they stood strong with left back Kane Briggs having a particularly good game.
Llangoed took the lead soon into the second half as Arwyn Morris grabbed his brace with a sensational goal. He took a touch with his head before volleying the ball into the top corner past Pentraeth goalkeeper Huw Shaw who could only stand and watch. Even Pentraeth manager Justin Gallagher described it as “one of the best finishes” he had ever seen in local football.
After that stunner, the home side began to truly take control and it wasn’t long util Morris completed his hat-trick, finding the bottom corner of the net to make it 3-1.
Llangoed’s fourth goal came as another 16 year old – Jay Finter – shone for the side. The attacker broke free down the right hand side and found Wayne Thomas who fired home and finished the game as Pentraeth ended the 90 mins with nine men due to injuries and a red card.
Both teams had worked well in the defensive and midfield areas throughout the match and both managers will have positives to take away from this one.
Valley Athletic 3-1 Mynydd Tigers
Valley moved up to second in the table with an impressive win over league leaders Mynydd Tigers, but they were certainly not without their problems.
Some of the home side’s players had battled through illness in order to play in this one and others had missed the match through injury. They were so short on players that manager Barry Rowlands had to name himself as a substitute.
It’s fair to say that the Tigers were not in any type of sympathetic mood however and pressed hard in the early stages of this one. Despite their persistence though, the score line remained goalless at half time.
The second half saw Valley manager Rowlands make one minor tactical change, moving winger marc Wilson to the opposite side to use his pace at the right back, and with in minutes it looked to have paid off.
The move gave the home side the motivation they needed to win this one. They took the lead when Justin Hughes took a long run from left back, beating two men then nutmegging the third to cross and find the un-marked Justin Williams who made it 1-0.
Minutes later though Mynydd came alive and equalised with a low cross that was met cleanly by Liam Owen who fired the ball inside of the post and in.
Both teams were looking for the crucial third goal of the game and it was Valley who eventually found it. Marc Wilson cut in of the left wing and fired the ball into the top corner.
The final game-killing goal came in injury time when a poor clearance by a Tigers defender found Nik Kontodious almost 25 yards away from goal and the centre midfielder delicately chipped the ball over the goalkeepers out stretched arm and found the back of the net.
In the end, it was a highly positive win for Barry Rowlands’ Valley side who will no doubt be up there competing for the title come the end of the season. Mynydd will be disappointed with the final score, but still remain at the top of the division and will hope to bounce back in their next fixture.
Next week, the Anglesey League sides are in action in the following competitions:
NWCFA Junior Cup:
Arriva Bangor v Rhuddlan Town (2nd round, 1.30pm ko).
Lucas Oil Cup (1st round, 1.30pm ko)
Caergybi v Valley Athletic
Llangoed & District Reserves v Bodorgan
Kon-X Anglesey League (2pm ko)
Llandegfan v Mynydd Tigers
Pentraeth Reserves v Bryngwran Bulls