Town boss praises players after late drama seals a win

Neil Barr produced an equaliser after coming off the bench. INBL1532-227EB
Neil Barr produced an equaliser after coming off the bench. INBL1532-227EB

Banbridge Town forward Neil Barr could consider himself unfortunate not to have made the starting line-up last Saturday.

That’s the words of boss Ryan Watson, who is certainly being given much to think about by the striker’s performances off the bench.

New signing Stuart King made a successful debut.

New signing Stuart King made a successful debut.

Having been brought on during the second half at Mill Meadow, Barr again came up trumps with the equaliser to pave the way for Ryan Gourley’s winner.

“Neil was unlucky not to start the game,” said a relieved Watson after his side secured a vital 2-1 win over bottom side Wakehurst.

“He’s got himself into good shape and is doing well when he comes off the bench.

“He’s doing really well in training as well and it was great to see him getting the goal again when he came on. “He’ll be another important player for us for the remainder of the season.”

With Watson set to ring the changes for this weekend’s Intermediate Cup tie at Amateur League side Nortel, perhaps Barr will get the chance to stake his claim for a regular starting spot.

“This is as strong a squad as we’ve had in my time in charge of the team anyway,” said Watson. “It’s great to have all of our injured guys available again and it tells with the strength of our bench.

“To be able to bring on the likes of Neil, Adam Pedlow and James Wilson shows great strength in depth.”

After Saturday’s much-needed three points, Watson was also quick to praise the efforts of his defenders, who kept it tight bar one lapse.

“Stephen Greene was solid in defence and Stuart Thompson came back in from injuryand played well too.

“He never lets us down in there,” said Watson.

Meanwhile, Watson also had a warning for in-form winger Ryan Gourley.

Gourley has attracted a lot of plaudits after a bright first half of the season and, after netting the winner on Saturday, the boss has urged his young star to keep his current work ethic up.

“Ryan put in another impressive performance on Saturday,” said Watson.

“He took the game to them and created all sorts of problems for their defence. He came up with the goods and got himself another goal too, which was great to see.

“Now he has to keep his feet on the ground and keep working hard. He’s still young and is still learning.

“Now the challenge for him is to keep doing it consistently.”

The boss was also keen to praise the impact of new signing Stuart King, following a successful debut.

He said: “Stuart played his first game in about five or six weeks but he did really well. He showed his quality and his experience in central midfield and show what an asset he is going to be.

“He’s a big, big boost in there and he’s going to be a massive player for us for the rest of the season.”