Lancaster’s stuttering season took another blow as they suffered a 5-1 home defeat to Bangor. To look at the league table prior to the game, one may be forgiven for noticing the gulf between the two teams; Bangor were top after 2 games, scoring 12 goals in the process, whilst Lancaster went into the game on the back of three successive defeats.
The opening stages did little to challenge the anticipated picture of the game. Lancaster found themselves under the cosh early on, struggling to contend with Bangor’s passing and movement. Most of the play for the home side came through striker Nick Kagowski; they had clearly earmarked his aerial threat as an advantage, and for the most part he won header after header, held the ball up well, and brought others into play.
As the old cliché goes, when playing against the top teams you need to take your chances, and Jack Davidson did this with aplomb. Bangor were pressured into making a sloppy back pass, centre midfielder Davidson placed the ball down 12 yards out, and after receiving a very short pass, smashed it under the wall into the bottom left hand corner. It was the perfect start for Lancaster, and was the significant moment the game needed to spark into life. Within minutes, the game got heated, right-back Oscar Quaye involved in a couple of firm 50-50 challenges with the Bangor midfielders.
A specific incident prompted Quaye and the recipient of his foul to come head to head. From the resulting free kick, the Bangor player involved headed in a beautifully delivered cross at the far post to make it 1-1. After complaints from the home team over a possible offside, the referee gave the goal after consulting with his linesman.
This gave Bangor renewed optimism, and they took full advantage. Left-winger Chris Davies, who caused all sorts of problems for Lancaster with his pace and trickery, cut inside and played in the right-winger, who slotted it under John Moran into the far corner.
Following this setback, Lancaster looked to use Matthew Poysden, who continually bombed forward from right-wing and put in some impressive crosses, but for the solid defending of Bangor. Jack Davidson carried on from where he started, using the ball well and linking up with Poysden on a number of occasions.
For all their good work, Lancaster were again undone by a combination of poor defending and excellent play from the away side. Quaye was turned too easily by the Bangor striker, who coolly finished into the bottom left hand corner to give Lancaster a real mountain to climb going into the second half.
Lancaster came out with intent after the interval, Kagowski again the outlet for much of their play, and it was he who glanced a header just past the post at the start of the second half. Chances came thick and fast for the front two, fellow striker Jack Griffiths poking an effort wide from 12 yards.
Much of the frustration from the home side stemmed from their inability to keep the ball and use it in the manner of their opponents. Bangor won the ball in midfield, broke up the pitch and won a somewhat dubious penalty. Chris Davies sent the keeper the wrong way and Bangor were now out of sight.
It was now a case of restoring pride for Lancaster, who went close with a long range pile driver from Matthew Poysden, which was pushed wide by the keeper.
In spite of their efforts, the difference between the sides became more and more perceptible as the game wore on. Bangor had the majority of possession, and killed the game off with a neat finish from their substitute.
It clearly wasn’t going to be Lancaster’s day as Kagowski hit the post and the ball flashed across the goal line only to trickle agonisingly wide towards the end.
Captain Jack Griffiths admitted that “the first two goals were individual errors, but the penalty was an awful decision and that killed us off. However, we were playing a good side, and we can put this result behind us and turn our season around”.