It had all the ingredients for a good old-fashioned cup upset – underdogs at home, difficult surface, partisan crowd – but in the end Bangor City survived this test in the Rhondda and proceed to a Round 4 game with Goytre FC in January.
With the Ynys Park pitch remaining just playable after twelve hours of rain, Bangor had to banish thoughts of a second postponement taking the tie back to their own Nantporth base. In the opening half an hour, the Welsh Premier side struggled to match the intensity of their Welsh League opponents in a finely-balanced game. The Bulldogs began to create opportunities, and there was none better than the one that fell to Liam Reed late in the first half: Leon Jacka cut inside from the left and curled a shot against the foot of Bangor’s post, but when the rebound came to Reed he fired wide with the goal at his mercy.
It was a let-off for the Citizens and while they might have been relieved to go in at half time still level, a goal in first half stoppage time changed the complexion of the game. A quickly-taken free-kick found Anthony Miley in space and his cross was met at the back post by Brayden Shaw.
The one-goal lead enabled Bangor to relax a little and as the second half progressed the visitors started to dominate the game. They were denied several times by the frame of Ton’s goal, and some fine saves by home keeper Joe Massaro, but he was powerless to prevent Henry Jones doubling the lead with twenty minutes left when the ball fell to him after another blocked effort on goal.
Only the most partisan could claim Bangor were underserved winners – but how different might things have been if Jacka or Reed had given them the lead?