BANGOR City are staring down the barrel of the gun as they prepare for their trip to unbeaten league leaders Airbus Broughton this weekend.

Things have not gone to plan for Craig Harrison’s men in recent weeks following a dominant start to life in the Huws Gray Alliance, where they were expected to go very close to the title after significant investment over the summer following their relegation from the top flight.

Should they fail to beat the Wingmakers on Saturday, they would be eight points behind their title rivals having played a game more, which would be 11 points should Airbus win their game in hand.

Even at this early stage of the campaign, that gap is a significant one and would take a standout effort to claw back, especially when you consider how well Steve O'Shaughnessy’s talented squad have begun the campaign.

They have set their stall out from the outset after underachieving somewhat last season, winning all five of their contests, scoring 13 times and conceding just two.

Asa Hamilton’s arrival from Guilsfield has given them a powerful presence upfront that was sorely missing last term, with the likes of Lewis Buckley and Leo Riley all providing a great deal of quality within the final third that no team has been able to counter thus far.

This represents a huge challenge for the Citizens but there is no doubt they have the talent within their squad to give Airbus their biggest challenge of the fledgling season so far by a comfortable margin.

In Les Davies, Alex Darlington and Marc Williams they have players who could all turn a game on its head at any given opportunity, and the experience of Phil Baker, Steven Hewitt and former Wingmaker Tom Field will be another vital element to the game if they want to get anything out of it.

Of course, it is a long season and we are still at the beginning. There are plenty of twists of turns to come of that thanks to the wonderful unpredictability of the second tier, but City now have an air of vulnerability about them and this will be a huge test of their character and a more realistic indication of their promotion chances later on in the campaign.

It is going to take a collective push to get their stuttering season back on track, and there is plenty on the line for both clubs in what is arguably the most anticipated match of the HGA season so far.