Michael Johnston off to a winner as new manager of Bangor 1876

PICTURE BY Sam Eaden/Eado Photography shows new Bangor 1876 manager Michael Johnston

NEW BANGOR 1876 manager Michael Johnston marked his first game in charge with a 2-1 victory over Penrhyndeudraeth.

The club confirmed earlier this week that the experienced defender would be taking over at the helm following the resignation of Dylan Williams with Mel Jones also stepping up to take charge alongside Johnston.

As a player, ‘Johnno’ won the Welsh Premier League with Bangor City in 2010/11, as well as 3 Welsh Cups and went on to become captain of the club.

When 1876 formed in 2019, he quickly became captain of that club too and led them onto winning the Gwynedd League with ease in their debut campaign.

Johnston previously told AFE in an interview that “the whole 1876 project is fantastic”.

On Saturday, he assumed his position as manager of the club for the first time and led them onto an important victory over Penrhyndeudraeth in the North Wales Coast West Premier.

And there was further great news for the club as Gethin Thomas, who just recently returned from a long-term injury which had kept him out since August, hit an all-important brace.

In the first half, there were few chances as both sides took time to come to terms with the crazy weather conditions. Midway through the opening period, Jamie Petrie came close to breaking the deadlock when he cut inside from the left, but his curling right foot shot struck the crossbar and rebounded to safety.

After 33 minutes, it was the visitors who took the lead – Aaron Griffiths was adjudged to have been fouled in the box and Steven Jones stepped up to score from the resulting penalty.

In the second half, Thomas and Shaun Lock came onto replace Luke Steele and Cameron Barry on 56mins. Just 2 minutes later, Lock tried his luck with a powerful left-footed shot from 40 yards that went narrowly wide.

A minute later, 1876 were back on level terms. Some neat footwork from Gethin Thomas just outside the penalty area created room for a shot and his well placed effort made the score 1-1. Five minutes later, 1876 took the lead when Thomas again found the net with a similar effort from just inside the penalty area.

Thomas (middle) celebrates one of his goals. PIC: Sam Eaden/Eado Photography

Just before the midway point in the second half, the visitors were reduced to ten men. Midfielder Huw Qaeck was shown a red card after disputing the award of a throw-in.

As 1876 sought to make their numerical advantage count, Jamie Petrie ran onto a through pass and lobbed the ball over visiting goalkeeper Morgan Jones. However, the ball landed on the top of the net as the match remained finely poised going into the last ten minutes.

Alwyn Roberts came on for his 1876 debut to replace the hard-working Dylan Williams. Then, deep into injury time, Penrhyndeudraeth had a chance from a free-kick just under thirty yards out. However, the effort went high and wide and 1876 secured a hard-earned win.

A fine start for Johnston which keeps 1876 firmly in second place in the tier four table!

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