CRAIG HARRISON held his hands up after his team’s 5-1 thrashing at Nev Powell’s leaders on Friday night admitting: “Bangor were brilliant!”
Airbus went to Farrar Road in second place knowing that the game against a long-established Welsh Premier side was a real test of how far they’d come.
Admitting that his team fell well short Harrison said: “I’m the world’s worst loser. I hate losing football matches. But sometimes you’ve just got to hold your hands and say we were beaten by the better team and Bangor were brilliant.”
A Jamie Reed hat-trick maintained Bangor’s 100 per cent start and the former Wrexham striker scored inside three minutes in front of a crowd of more than 800.
Reed bagged a second and an Alan Bull 20-yarder put the home side 3-0 up at the break.
Harrison made changes at the break and substitute Nick Rushton pulled a goal back on the hour mark, netting a rebound after Paul Smith had parried a Danny Desormeaux effort.
But Reed snuffed-out the visitors’ revival with his third goal in the 72nd-minute from the edge of the box, and sub Les Davies completed the 5-1 win a minute from time.
“We were well beaten,” said Harrison. “And although I don’t want to take anything away from Bangor you have to consider the history of the two clubs.
“Bangor are a long established club with a proud history, an experienced manager in Nev Powell, experienced players and a great support. Ten years ago they were playing in Europe. Ten years ago, Airbus weren’t even in the the Cymru Alliance.
“We have to be ambitious and think we can achieve what Bangor have got.
“But then we also have to reflect and think how far we have come and if someone said we were going to be second in the league going into that game, I’d have taken it, no doubt!”
Meanwhile Reed and midfielder Craig Garside have signed contracts to the end of the 2012-13 season with Bangor.
Former Everton apprentice Garside has been a commanding presence in the City midfield over the last year, while Reed was the club’s top scorer last season.
Delighted boss Powell said: “The commitment shown by Craig and Jamie shows the level of ambition we have at the club as we look forward to building on the success of recent seasons.”
“The squad of players that we currently have at Bangor City is among the best that I have had since being a manager and it is a pleasure to work with them on a regular basis. “
Next up for Airbus, whose players can expect a tough training programme this week, is a home game with champions The New Saints on Friday.
Meanwhile, former Liverpool and Chester midfielder Richie Partridge has signed on for The New Saints.
Released by Stockport County, Partridge has opted out of the Football League scene to sign on for the Welsh Premier League champions and made his debut in the 7-0 hammering of Carmarthen 7-0 to move into second place.
Matty Williams, Alex Darlington and Scott Ruscoe scored doubles with Matty Berkeley and a Dale Griffiths own goal from a Partridge cross putting the Saints in seventh heaven.
Another TNS player, striker Craig Whitfield – who is currently with Newtown – denied Bala Town a first victory of the season with a last-minute diving header at Latham Park, where Josh Macauley had given the Lakesiders an 82nd-minute lead.
Prestatyn Town held Neath to a 1-1 draw. Lee Hunt put Prestatyn ahead but Chris Jones levelled with 17 minutes to go.
Port Talbot needed an injury time Luke Bowen penalty to salvage a 1-1 draw with Aberystwyth Town, for whom Conall Murtagh scored.