BANGOR City advanced in the Nathaniel MG Cup with a sensational penalty shootout victory over The New Saints.

The new-look Citizens’ turned in an exceptional display against the all-conquering JD Cymru Premier champions in a game that finished 1-1 after 90 minutes, with City emerging victorious 4-2 from the spot kicks.

The hosts made a positive start to the tie and carved out the first opening on seven minutes when Aldair Neto sent Emmanuel Agyemang through on goal, but his attempt was straight at the keeper and the danger was averted.

Scott Ruscoe’s side came within inches of an opener on 12 minutes when a rasping effort from Chris Marriot rattled the crossbar, with Agyemang’s header sailing narrowly wide at the other end after more good link-up play with Neto.

A good passage of play midway through the half from the home side saw them control possession for long periods without creating an opportunity of note, and veteran striker Greg Draper firing a powerful drive wide of the target for the full-timers with 31 on the clock.

The lively Neto was denied a clear goalscoring chance thanks to a superb interception towards the end of the first period after a sublime pass from Francesco Serafino in what proved to be the final action of note from a very encouraging first half from a City perspective.

After the interval saw the home side get a crucial breakthrough on 52 minutes when Simone Rea delivered an unstoppable header that found its way into the net and break the deadlock.

Manager Stephen Vaughan Jr was forced to adjust things midway through the half thanks to an injury to tireless midfielder Yalany Baio, and Neto almost went through on goal once again on 69 minutes only to be denied by a sensational tackle from Aeron Edwards.

The visitors cranked up the pressure and went close on two occasions in quick succession through Kurtis Byrne and former Doncaster Rovers youngster Billy Whitehouse on 74 minutes, with City defender Lucas Surber making a pair of key blocks soon after to keep his side ahead.

This persistence finally brought a leveller for the away side on 77 minutes when Draper sent through Byrne, and the Irish striker remained composed to put the change away and restore parity to the score line.

City stopper Gabriele Brino had to be at his best to deny Byrne another on 84 minutes with a stunning save, and the hosts were given a major let off on 86 when Draper somehow headed wide from close range to send the game to a penalty shootout.

Brino was the early hero to deny Draper and give his side the advantage, with Massimo Sammartino, Serafino, Matteo Gozzerini and Surber all finding the net to send City through.