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Port v Bangor - 16/09/03

A warm welcome to you all to this evening's Loosemores of Cardiff Challenge Cup second leg tie against Bangor City. The first leg was an exciting encounter and we had to work hard to get the 1 - 1 result. Bangor are a good side who try and play football, passing and moving with pace. I am sure the lads will give of their best again this evening.

With £3,000 to the winners this season and £500 to the two semi finalist, no club will be taking the League Cup lightly this season. We as clubs are grateful that Loosemores of Cardiff are sponsoring the competition this season. It is our luck that we are playing the two best sides in the League in the space of 72 hours. From what I have seen so far, TNS and Bangor are the two best sides with Rhyl and Aberystwyth not far behind. The rest of the League is in the melting pot. We have done well so far, but we were well aware that we would have hiccups along the way, what we must do is learn from our mistakes and try to eradicate them from our play. They will even themselves out over the season. Ged McGuigan was gutted on Saturday but he has saved us on more than one occasion this season, he was brilliant against Bangor a couple of weeks ago. He does not become a bad keeper over night. This will be a gentle reminder to us that we have to work extremely hard in this League in order to compete, we can't afford to take anybody lightly or we will come unstuck. Our response to this defeat will be good I am sure. I will not be looking at the League table until the end of the month; we will assess our position then and act upon that assessment.

Another consideration is that we have had a tough start to the season, we have played 5 League games and 4 Cup games including tonight. That is two games more than anybody else. Our squad has been stretched and with three influential players out at the moment things have not been easy. We must take encouragement that we have only lost twice in seven games. On the injury front both Dave Evans and Mike Foster are two weeks away from a return to action while Richie Owen who has had tonsillitis, a mouth Infection and a toe Infection in the space of a week and has lost an astonishing stone and a half in that time Is closer to a return and maybe ready for next Saturday.

It was nice to see Wales secure their play-off position last week despite an unconvincing performance. I know Osian for one will be hoping for Wales to get through as he fancies a holiday in Portugal next summer.

I hope you enjoy tonight's game and that you will come down again on Saturday when we entertain Cwmbran, ko. 2.3Opm. Thanks once again for your support.
Porthmadog

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