Town boss delighted with defence as back line leads the way in resurgence

James Wilson in recent action against Portstewart. INBL1543-277PB

James Wilson in recent action against Portstewart. INBL1543-277PB

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Banbridge Town’s defence have led the way in the side’s recent resurgence.

They’ve now chalked up four clean sheets in five outings, doing much to help the team to lift nine points from those games and reach the cusp of finally making an exit from the perilous relegation places.

It’s all a far cry from the opening seven Championship Two matches, when Town had conceded 20 goals and gained a meagre return of only two points.

Now, the back five are the bedrock of a team in form; the way Watson had always intended it.

“That’s something we wanted to build this season,” he told the ‘LEADER.’

“Teams that are solid are always going to have a chance of winning games. At the start of the season, we were making mistakes and over-complicating things but now the lads understand what we want them to do and are defending very well.

“The work ethic of the team has played a huge part in that as well. We’re defending as a team. We had a couple of 0-0 draws to stabilise and start off our good run. Since then, we have started to perform at the other end of the pitch.”

Watson also reckons Town’s easing injury worries have helped to plug the gaps in their backline thanks to a more settled starting team.

He said: “Having a steady team helps as well. Over the last five or six games, our back four has remained fairly steady and that has been key. It means they know each other’s games and the communications between them is good.”

At the other end of the pitch, Watson has praised striker Conor Downey for his recent goal glut but also called on his team-mates to add to the tally.

He said: “Conor has got himself into very good shape. His fitness is the best I have seen it and if those levels are good in this division, you will do well.

“It’s about having that extra bit of quality to take the chances and Conor’s finishing has been top drawer. Some of his goals have been really well taken, like the one against Wakehurst. It wasn’t an easy chance to take. It needed a lot of composure and he delivered with an excellent finish.

“He needs to keep that going now because it’s important to have a striker getting the goals. Pixie (Ryan Moffatt) is also chipping in with goals and assists but we need more midfield players coming up with goals and defenders scoring a few from set-pieces to keep us ticking over. We are creating chances but other people haven’t been just as clinical as Conor.”

Meanwhile, Town’s injury problems are finally easing.

Teenager David Gray is still struggling with a groin problem but, other than that, they squad are fast approaching a clean bill of health.

“Adam Pedlow is bursting to get back into the starting 11,” said boss Ryan Watson. “He’s been coming off the bench and showing flashes of quality. He’s just waiting on his opportunity. There’s more to come from Adam this season.”