Gourley shines as Town are knocked out

Ryan Gourley was Town's man of the match with a bright display on the left wing. Pic: Presseye.
Ryan Gourley was Town's man of the match with a bright display on the left wing. Pic: Presseye.

An under-strength Banbridge Town exited the JBE League Cup in Fermanagh on Tuesday night.

Missing 10 first team squad players, Ryan Watson’s men went down 5-0 to Ballinamallard at Ferney Park.

Despite what was a comfortable score-line, a young Town line-up featuring three teenagers put in a hearty display.

Ryan Gourley was the pick of the visiting players, taking the game to the hosts and running at their defence any chance he got.

He tested goalkeeper Alvin Rouse in the home nets during the first half, when striker Neil Barr also went close.

Barr was another to cause the home defence problems as he rifled over before the break and then started a move that sent Michael Ferguson clear midway through the second period. The full-back went down under a challenge from Leon Carters but the referee said no penalty.

That was as good as it got for Town in an attacking sense while, at the other end, Ballinamallard proved too strong.

Jay McCartney set up two goals seconds apart after seven minutes, teeing up Steve Feeney for a tap-in and then sending in the impressive Matthew McCrudden with a neat back-heel.

Defender Leon Carters converted the third on 35 after Stephen Croft had made a great save from an Emmett Friars header.

It wasn’t the only top drawer save that Croft made, also denying a thunderbolt of a McCrudden volley before half-time.

McCrudden did make it four on 75 minutes with a clinical effort before Jonny Lafferty completed the scoring with a nonchalant header.

All in all, it was a valuable experience for a young Town side who now turn their attentions to hosting Sport and Leisure Swifts in Championship Two at Crystal Park on Saturday afternoon (kick-off 3pm).

BALLINAMALLARD: Rouse, McMenamin, McLoughlin, Carters, Feeney, Martin, Lafferty, McCartney, Lecky, McCrudden, Friars.

Subs: Patterson, Smith, Crilly, Courtney, Campbell.

TOWN: Croft, Johnston, Ferguson, Greene, Waddell, Hayes, Gourley, McCartan, Barr, Downey, McCavitt.

Subs: Martin, Toner, N. Watson.