Bangor City 1-0 Carmarthen Town
The Bangor University Stadium
Bangor City Scorer: Lawrence Wilson 76’
With two wins from two against The New Saints and Prestatyn Town to show for their home form in this 2017/18 season, Kevin Nicholson’s Bangor City were looking to extend that perfect record today at The Bangor University Stadium, as Mark Aizlewood’s Carmarthen Town came to Gwynedd looking to score their first points of the season.
With The New Saints and Connah’s Quay Nomads having secured wins last night too, there was certainly huge incentive for The Citizens to get three points in this game as they looked to keep chase with those two sides at this early stage in the season, against an outfit who last year gave them a fair bit to think about when they travelled to Bangor themselves. Without doubt the opening exchanges of the game were tight enough to reflect how much a win would mean to both sides.
Lee Idzi had plenty of work to do in protecting the visiting goal, but also the likes of Tom Kennedy and Idzi’s counterpart Connor Roberts were busy in keeping the home side on level terms. Gary Taylor-Fletcher attempted spectacular overhead kick after some 13 minutes which flew just over the crossbar, which was the pick of the early chances, but no goals came in the first half as both keepers did very well.
Luke Wall has a spell running the game for the home side as the second half got underway, but it was Dean Rittenberg who went the closest to breaking the deadlock in the early exchanges after the restart as his venomous effort hit the post, before the flag was raised for offside.
The home side were dominating possession and starting to do the same territorially as the game wore on into the last half an hour, and eventually that dominance paid off as Lawrence Wilson rifled an effort past the helpless Idzi with less than 15 minutes on the clock to put The Citizens one goal ahead, with Nicholson’s side able to see out the victory.
Aberystwyth Town 0-2 Cardiff Metropolitan
Cardiff Met Scorer: Joel Edwards 33’, Jon McKenna OG 65’
With just a single point to show for their 2017/18 endeavours so far, Neville Powell’s Aberystwyth will have been to get off to a strong start in Ceredigion and unsettle the visiting Students, however an early red card for Joe Culshaw in the sixth minute following a dangerous tackle was obviously a significant hindrance to The Seasiders in their endeavours.
Nonetheless, the visitors were still struggling to find their offensive rhythm early-on as the ten men of Aberystwyth went closest to breaking the deadlock in the opening 20 minutes of the game, with Geoff Kellaway in particular causing problems with his tireless running and going very close with an incredible bicycle kick which Will Fuller had to be very alert to palm over.
Luke Borrelli was stopped at the final hurdle by Joel Edwards after 25 minutes as the ten men representing the home side continued to impress and push for the opening goal, whereas Met were restricted to crosses and hopeful efforts from distance, however it was Edwards’ deflected shot after 33 minutes that beat Chris Mullock and gave the visitors a lead.
With their tails up now, The Students started to really stretch the home defence as Jordan Lam turned his marker inside-out after 37 minutes before dancing into the box and shooting into the side-netting. Eliot Evans hit the post minutes later, before Kyle McCarthy scooped up the rebound and shot wide, but in a crazy spell of the game Met had gone from struggling to create anything to taking the lead and then only being inches away from finding themselves three goals up.
After the break, both sides had decent chances early in the half as Kellaway again looked to cause problems, shooting into the side-netting on one occasion and forcing another great save out of Fuller to keep a powerful header out of the back of the net. Adam Roscrow and Evans had chances of their own in the midst of that, and McCarthy went close before the hour-mark, but the gap remained at one goal.
You did sense another goal was coming in the game, with so much action in front of both keepers, and it was an Aberystwyth player who has the ball in the back of the net, but unfortunately for Powell’s side it was in his own net as Jon McKenna threw himself in front of a Dylan Rees cross attempting to put it behind for a corner, only for him to inadvertently direct it past Mullock and put the visitors 2-0 up.
Any hope of the home side getting back into the game was dashed in the last ten minutes, as John Owen was forced to leave the field with injury and Aber, having already used all three substitutions and had a man sent off, were down to nine men and Met comfortably saw out the win.
Barry Town United 2-0 Newtown AFC
Barry Town United Scorer: Kayne McLaggon 7’, 77’
With Chris Hughes’ Robins making the lengthy trip south to face off against Gavin Chesterfield’s Barry Town United, the visiting team carried a lot of momentum going into the game against a side that is still searching for their first win back at JD Welsh Premier League level, having come up short in their first three games despite a string of very encouraging performances.
That encouragement translated into an end-product after just seven minutes as The Dragons’ new signing Kayne McLaggon gave the home side a lead after seven minutes, running clear and finishing well after Jay Denny conceded possession in the Newtown half.
Jamie Reed and Luke Boundford combined minutes later to create a dangerous opportunity, before Barry cleared the danger, but The Robins were pushing hard to get back on level terms as soon as possible as Jamie Price went close with a free-kick also.
Another free-kick from Price tested the home side’s resolve, but it was McLaggon again who was on hand to remind the visitors of their own defensive responsibilities as he fired wide from the edge of the box; the Barry number seven’s goal being the only truly clear-cut chance of the game thus far, and the score remained at 1-0 going into halftime.
The Robins struggled at times in the first half, but after a team talk from Hughes during the break the visitors looked much livelier, but with half an hour to go they still couldn’t get back on level terms with McLaggon’s goal proving the difference.
Joe Kenton was introduced to the game by Hughes after 67 minutes, and he almost had a decisive impact within a minute of coming on as the winger ghosted past his marker, and sent a great ball towards Nick Rushton who poked the delivery just wide. Just as Newtown were finding their rhythm, once again Barry created a couple of great chances to double the lead, as Ryan Sears cleared McLaggon’s latest effort off the line to keep the score at 1-0.
Barry’s persistence paid off, however, as McLaggon grabbed his brace with 13 minutes left to play, putting pressure on the visiting goalkeeper before bundling the ball home to make it 2-0 and put Chesterfield’s men minutes away from securing their first win back at JD Welsh Premier League level, and the home side finished the game strongly to do just that.