WELSH PREMIER League frontrunners Bangor City prepare to host rivals The New Saints this weekend in a crunch mid-season clash.
City’s 3-2 victory over Afan Lido last Saturday lifted them to top spot, one point ahead of Prestatyn Town and three in front of Craig Harrison’s Saints, after they crashed to a shock 3-0 defeat at home to Carmarthen Town.
Citizens manager Nev Powell will be sweating over the fitness of attacking talisman Les Davies and full back Chris Roberts ahead of the crunch clash, while striker Alan Bull is ruled out after a nasty ankle injury during last weekend’s trip to south Wales.
The Citizens will be wary of their Park Hall rivals, haviong lost both of their last two encounters, conceding a total of eight goals in the process, but will be encouraged by the reigning champions’ patchy form of late.
In contrast, City have looked impressive recently, putting together a string of victories as they again find themselves as one of the league’s leading contenders.
Their recent victory at Lido’s Martsons’ Stadium displayed the side’s fighting qualities, as they toiled in the rain without Davies and Roberts, while reserve Sean Davies was named as a substitute following the recent departure of midfielder Craig Garside.
City looked bright, and after top-scorer Chris Simm could only find the side-netting with an early chace, Penrhos boy Sion Edwards notched his sixth goal of the season with a
strike that keeper Chris Curtis could not keep out.
The hosts rallied though, and hit back just before half time through Chris Hartland, whose well-stuck effort beat Lee Idzi in goal.
Seven minutes into the second period saw City full back Liam Brownhill hit a delicious 25-yard drive which went in via the post to hand his side the initiative, before Bull was stretchered off with an ankle injury.
The scores stayed that way until the 90th minute, when Chris Curtis diverted a cross into his own net to gift Bangor a two-goal cushion, before Kieran Howard pulled one back at the death for a late consolation.
CITY have parted company with midfielder Craig Garside.
The former Connahs Quay Nomads and Rhyl maestro, who is also a North Wales Fire Service officer left due problems with availability.
City manager Nev Powell said: "He did a good job for us, especially in the season where we won the league, and the door is always open to him to return to Bangor. He also played under me at Connah's Quay so I know him very well, and everyone at the club wishes him all the best."
Also departing is second-choice keeper Kyle Clancy.
The former Barrow, Burton Albion and Blackpool glovesman arrived at The Book People Stadium last season as deputy to Lee Idzi, but did not feature in the Welsh Premier, his appearances being restricted to cup matches.
Powell added: "Kyle's done nothing wrong since he came here and I'm sorry to lose him. With the two players leaving, I will now be looking for a new midfielder and goalkeeper when the transfer window opens in January.”