Dafabet Welsh Premier Play-off
Bangor City 3
CHRIS Hughes hit out after Newtown’s season ended at Bangor City who snatched victory courtesy of a controversial decision by referee Dean John.
With 15 minutes remaining the Swansea official awarded a free-kick on the edge of the area after ruling Luke Boundford to have impeded City’s Anthony Miley.
Gary Roberts whipped home the resulting free-kick as Bangor regained their lead and held out to claim a final berth against Cardiff Metropolitan this weekend.
Manager Hughes said: “The game was not decided by 22 players today, it was decided by yet another poor refereeing decision.
“We are very, very disappointed, we did not start well but we came back and controlled the game and certainly deserved to take the game to extra time.
“All credit to our boys, they deserved better than to lose to such a poor decision.”
Newtown endured a woeful start to the game and trailed inside the opening five minutes with Daniel Nardiello’s left wing cross headed home by player-manager Gary Taylor-Fletcher.
The Robins should have been level five minutes later only for Neil Mitchell to blaze over an open goal following Nick Rushton’s low right wing cross.
With the Robins still ruing the miss, home goalkeeper Connor Roberts long clearance found the visiting defence napping as Nardiello was given the freedom on Nantporth to race through and net.
Newtown came inches from reducing the arrears when Boundford glanced Jamie Price’s left wing cross wide.
Newtown made no mistake on 20 minutes with Alex Fletcher releasing Rushton to cross for Boundford to volley home.
Six minutes later the Robins were level with Mitchell atoning for his early miss by converting Boundford’s left wing cross.
Both sides had chances in an open first-half with Rushton’s header forcing Roberts into action while Robins goalkeeper Dave Jones denied Roberts while a Taylor-Fletcher shot was deflected wide by Shane Sutton.
The second-half would become increasingly scrappy with John issuing a host of cautions as the free flowing game came to be disjointed as Nardiello came to spend much of the second-half in Sutton's pocket.
Newtown almost snatched the lead for the first time on 67 minutes when Price’s 45 yard free-kick forced a back pedalling Roberts to tip the ball over the bar.
Then came referee John’s moment of controversy with the free-kick expertly dispatched by Roberts as City celebrated regaining the lead with 15 minutes remaining.
Newtown went for broke to save the game and their season in the remaining minutes but the damage had already been done as City held out to claim a place in the end of season Europa League play-off final.
NEWTOWN: Jones, Williams, Mills-Evans, Sutton, Price, Kershaw (Kenton), Fletcher, Stephens, Mitchell (Edwards), Boundford, Rushton. Subs: Perry, Goodwin, Wells, Evans
Att – 638
See full story in the County Times