THE Wingmakers arrived at Bangor City looking to repeat last year’s feat of reaching the Welsh Cup semi-final and make history in the process. For the second week running S4C’s Sgorio cameras were in attendance, giving Airbus the opportunity to break their duck in finally winning a live TV game.
With Bangor being the home team it was understandable that they shaded the opening stages – with Les Davies having the first chance of the game on 7 minutes when heading over inside the area. At the other end Jordan Johnson had a half-chance for Airbus but volleyed over.
Real opportunities were thin on the ground as the game progressed with both teams cancelling each other out. Tom Field played Steve Abbott in on the edge of the 6-yard box on 20 minutes, but after turning Abbott couldn’t get enough power behind his shot to test Lee Idzi in the Bangor goal.
The deadlock was broken on 22 minutes however, when former Wingmakers favourite Ryan Edwards crossed for Chris Simm to power in a header at the far post making it 1-0 to Bangor. Airbus nearly hit back immediately but Wayne Riley’s close-range attempt was blocked.
Approaching the break Airbus enjoyed a period of pressure but Bangor were solid at the back – making interceptions, blocking shots and stifling the Wingmakers creativity. At half-time it was still 1-0 to the home side but the Wingmakers were still well in the tie.
The second-half began with Bangor making a change – Michael Johnston coming in place of Dave Morley. Les Davies blazed a shot over on 54 minutes but in the early stages after the interval it was Airbus who showed more intent going forward in their bid to get back on level terms.
Airbus made their first substitution on 61 minutes with Ryan Wade coming on in place of Jason Jarrett to add to the Wingmakers attacking threat. With Wade adding even more pace to the side the game opened up a bit more. A chance fell to Wade on the edge of the area on 67 minutes but he scuffed his shot wide.
With just over 20 minutes to go a long-range strike from Tom Field struck the outside of Idzi’s post and this speculative effort was as close as the Wingmakers had got all game. With just under 20 minutes to go Chris Simm headed wide at the near post – a reminder that Bangor were still a real threat going forward. They then underlined this by replacing Sion Edwards with Robbie Booth.
On 77 minutes Airbus made another change as Chris Budrys came on in place of Steve Abbott which Bangor introduced Levi Mackin in place of Damian Allen. Minutes later the Wingmakers made their last change with Ritchie Partridge returning to action in place of Jordan Johnson.
With eight minutes to go the Wingmakers were struggling to clear the ball – the presence of Chris Simm causing problems, and they required Sam Hart to clear his eventual goal-bound attempt off the line. As the clock ticked down there was a hold-up due to a collision between Budrys and Johnston after which both required attention from the respective physios.
Tom Field blasted a shot over for Airbus as the officials signalled 6 minutes of stoppage-time. Shortly after Field picked up a yellow-card for dissent. Steve Tomassen also earned a booking as he tried to prevent Idzi from time-wasting late on. Ultimately it was to no avail as Bangor held on for a win they and a place in the semi-final’s.
The Wingmakers now have to concentrate on the league – but have an early chance for revenge as they return to Bangor on Friday night. A win would keep the Wingmakers looking strong to finish above Bangor, on course to earn a place in Europe at the same time.
By Rory Sheehan