CHRIS Simm capitalised on Airbus UK Broughton defensive blunders to notch a hat-trick in a 3-2 victory at The Airfield.
Following back-to-back wins over Bala Town, the Wingmakers hosted one of the favourites for the WPL title at the Hollingsworth Group stadium and it would be an uphill taskwith former favourite Ryan Edwards lining up for the visitors – who had smashed Aberystwyth Town 7-1 just seven days earlier.
The visitors had a chance within the opening minute as Les Davies headed wide from a free-kick. On five minutes their enterprising start was rewarded as Simm slipped clear of the Wingmakers' defence and volleyed home from the right-hand side of the area to make it 1-0 to Bangor.
A minute later the Wingmakers were level at 1-1 when Chris Budrys rose highest in the six-yard box to head home from a long-throw. It was the perfect response from Airbus. On 11 minutes Sion Edwards lifted an attempt over the bar in what was developing into one of the most open games of the season.
On 13 minutes Simm found himself in on goal with only Chapman to beat before rounding the goalkeeper and tapping home to make it 2-1. There appeared to be an Airbus player down injured at the build-up to the goal but no foul was given. At the other end there was an Airbus header cleared off the line in what was becoming a real end-to-end thriller.
There looked to be a good case for a penalty to Airbus when Budrys was bundled over in the area on 19 minutes -but the appeals were waved away by the officials. Budrys then forced a good low save from Idzi minutes later.
On 35 minutes another horror error from the Wingmakers defence – this time inside the penalty area – presented Simm with another tap-in to make it 3-1. It gave him a first-half hat-trick, Chapman standing little chance when the visitors are presented with such opportunities.
Tom Field fired wide just before the break as the Wingmakers recovered from the shellshock of Simm’s hat-trick to regain their composure. Ryan Wade also received a booking for dissent.
There was an early shot from Wayne Riley in the second-half as Airbus looked to get back into the game but it was well-held by Lee Idzi in the Bangor goal. On 53 minutes the Wingmakers made their first change with Glenn Rule replacing Tom Field.
Chris Roberts forced Chapman to tip over the bar with a long-range effort on 62 minutes as the game maintained its even pattern. Despite matching the visitors in most departments however, the Wingmakers were struggling to match them in the final third.
On 67 minutes Bangor introduced Alan Bull in place of Sion Edwards and and Clive Williams in place of Ryan Edwards who received an ovation from both sets of supporters. A rash tackle from Glenn Rule earned him a yellow card on 73 minutes, while Dave Morley of Bangor picked up a booking for dissent as the game became heated.
With 13 minutes to go a surging run from Ryan Wade took him into the penalty area unchallenged where he finished with a neat low shot to bring the score to 3-2. The Wingmakers were back in the game and replaced Wayne Riley with Toby Jones as they hunted an equaliser.
Bangor made their last change with 10 minutes to go as Chris Jones replaced Mark Smyth. A minute later Chris Roberts picked up a booking for the visitors. As the Wingmakers increased the pressure Dave Morley brought a save from his own goalkeeper with a back-header.
Airbus made their final change with five minutes to go as Mark Cadwallader came on in place of Michael Roddy. A dangerous run from Lee Owens was cleared desperately from the Bangor area with the away side now holding on – taking the ball into the corner when they could to waste time.
Unfortunately time did run out on the Wingmakers who will reflect on a good performance that – but for poor defending in the first-half – would have seen them take something from the game, rather than a 3-2 defeat.
By Rory Sheehan