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Roberts free kick breaks Robins hearts

REPORT - Bangor 3-2 Robins

PLAY OFF SEMI-FINAL - BANGOR CITY 3-2 NEWTOWN

- Roberts free kick wins it for Bangor
- Mitchell and Boundford see Newtown come from two goals behind
- Robins rallied late on but couldn't force extra time
- Result ends 2017 unbeaten run 

Gary Roberts’ second half free kick broke Robins hearts in an entertaining give goal thriller at Nantporth.

In a semi-final the Citizens were expected to win, player boss Gary Taylor-Fletcher and then Daniel Nardiello saw them race into a two goal lead.

But Luke Boundford and then Neil Mitchell levelled things at the break, and arguably Newtown could have led.

Chances were few and far between in the second half, and it took a moment of brilliance from Roberts to win the game.

It was a nightmare start as the Robins failed to settle and Bangor punished them after five minutes.

Nardiello turned well in the corner of the box and stood up a cross for player-boss Taylor Fletcher to power a header over.

Five minutes later the Robins should have been level after a move that carved open the Citizens back line.

Ross Stephens lofted ball found Nick Rushton, and he crossed low across the box for Mitchell, but he ballooned the ball over from eight yards.

And seconds later, the Robins were made to rue that miss as they found themselves two behind inside 12 minutes.

One long punt from goalkeeper Connor Roberts evaded everyone, and Nardiello ran onto the ball to neatly slot past Dave Jones with the outside of his foot.

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Neil Mitchell levelled things up in the first period 

Another big chance went astray moments later for Newtown.

Jamie Price produced an inviting cross but Boundford could only glance the ball wide.

They did however manage to get themselves back in the game on the 20 minute mark.

Alex Fletcher found Rushton with a through ball and he crossed for his striker partner Boundford to volley home left footed.

It was an open and exciting game for the fans, with Bangor going close to restoring their two goal lead six minutes later.

The ever impressive Henry Jones crossed for Nardiello, who somehow manage to direct a stooping header wide.

Then it was Newtown’s chance to punish their opponents, and they did just that on 26 minutes.

Seconds after Bangor’s chance, the Robins went up to other end and Boundford found Mitchell unmarked and he stroked the ball into the corner from 10 yards.

It was now Newtown with the wind in their sails, and almost turned things right around on the half mark.

Price produced another superb cross and Roberts had to get down low to push Rushton’s goal bound header away.

Late in the half Bangor rallied back into life with two late chances going close as Gary Roberts and Taylor-Fletcher let fly from distance.

Seconds into the second period Bangor were almost back in front, but Danny Gossett failed to convert Dean Rittenburg’s cross.

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Boundford had grabbed the Robins first goal 

Both sides were pressing and probing but to no avail, as the game had lost its spark that it had in the first period.

25 minutes from time Price nearly pulled something spectacular to put the Robins ahead.

From 45 yards he lashed a free kick goal wards that had Roberts scrambling to push over.

Despite a lack of chances, Bangor did manage to get back in front through a very dubious free kick with 15 minutes left.

Boundford won the ball from Anthony Miley on the edge of the Robins box, but Dean John judged it to be a foul.

Roberts stepped up and curled the ball beyond Jones to give his side the lead.

Price flashed a free kick high over and Newtown put the pressure on late in the game.

However the Bangor backline stood firm, and preserved their one goal lead to book their place in the play-off final.

It was a valiant effort from Newtown after a superb second half to the season.

Bangor City – Roberts, Wilson, Gosset, Connolly, Miley, G Roberts, Taylor-Fletcher, Allen, Nardiello, Rittenburg (Jackson 64), Jones

Subs not used – Hall, Aziamale, Baio, S Edwards

Yellow – Nardiello 65, Gossett 76

Robins – Jones, Williams, Mills-Evans, Sutton, Price, Kershaw (Kenton 62), Fletcher, Stephens, Mitchell (Edwards 84), Boundford, Rushton

Subs not used – Perry, Goodwin, Wells, Evans

Yellow – Mitchell 49, Kershaw 54, Mills-Evans 78