Town must heed ‘wake up call’ of opening defeat

Stephen Jones looks to drive Town forward on Saturday as Stephen Greene watches on. INBL1532-231EB
Stephen Jones looks to drive Town forward on Saturday as Stephen Greene watches on. INBL1532-231EB
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‘We need to make sure that doesn’t happen again.’

The season has only just begun and already Banbridge Town boss Ryan Watson has had to drive that message home to his squad.

The boss was far from pleased with Saturday’s 1-0 defeat to Glebe Rangers and says his players must improve for the remainder of the campaign.

“It should be a wake-up call for us,” he said. “If the players thought they were just going to turn up and get results, it won’t work.

“If you’re not on your game, results like Saturday are going to happen.

“For whatever reason, we didn’t perform at all. It was terrible. I don’t know if some of the players were over eager on the first day or not but it was all very, very disappointing.

“They (Glebe) were even more keen than we were early on, which surprised me.

“The first day of the season is tough for everybody but I didn’t see that coming. It’s usually just about getting a positive result but we were so poor.”

Watson was no more satisfied with the performance of the match official, who, he says, didn’t do enough to stop Glebe “slowing the game down” after they snuck ahead through their fourth minute goal.

“The referee didn’t nip it in the bud,” he said. “I haven’t spoken about referees often but he didn’t have control of the game. He let their bench dictate decisions and let certain incidents develop.”

Watson also saw Chris McGrath sent off with an hour gone.

He said: “(The referee) made a decision and then changed his mind but Chris shouldn’t have lifted his hands. When you do that, you’re in trouble.

“It was his first game in two years since his injury so he was just so over eager to get going and frustrated at the way things were going.

“That’s all not to make any excuses for the result because we didn’t deserve anything from the game.

“When we went down to 10 men, we actually started to created some chances but overall, it wasn’t good enough. We have to realise that every match is going to be a huge battle.”