BANBRIDGE Rangers Swifts entertained Gilford Crusaders Reserves on Saturday at Scarva Park in a highly anticipated match in Reserve Division Three.
Neither team able to get much momentum in opening 20 minutes with Gilford creating the better of chances and had a good penalty appeal turned down.
On 25 minutes John McCahon picked up ball on right hand side of box and pulled back for Dean Gordon to score his first goal of the season with a well-placed shot into bottom corner to give Rangers the lead. From the restart Gilford piled on pressure with the back four off Alan McMinn, David Smyth, Matthew McCrum and Mark Dillon all kept busy.
Gilford Crusaders deservedly equalised just over five minutes before the break from a corner after keeper Michael Burns saved the shot but the defence was unable to get the ball cleared. Gilford finished the half stronger but went in all level at half time with a rejuvenated Rangers taking the game to Crusaders from the start of the second period.
It took until 63 minutes for the next goal to arrive and it went the way of Banbridge Rangers after Paul Frazer had a shot from twenty yards diverted into the net by Davy Rogers who was in a border line offside position. With the wind in their sails Banbridge Rangers started to create more chances with Neily Wilson, Paul Frazer and John McCahon all going close in the next 10 minutes.
On the 80th minute Davy Sterritt played a through ball down the right hand side to McCahon who beat his marker and pulled back to Frazer on the edge of the area and left the keeper with no chance as he fired into top corner to make it 3-1.
Gilford created wave after wave of attack from here on in with the defence marshalled well by Davy Smyth who dealt comfortably with everything and saw Butler introduced for Gordon. With a minute of normal time remaining Butler dispossessed the Gilford right back just inside his own half and played a ball across the park to Rogers who linked up well with Jordan McCracken before firing low past the keeper for his second strike of the afternoon.
Gilford Crusaders Reserves then scored a consolation goal to make it 4-2 in the fifth minute of stoppage time when they caught Rangers on the counter attack and their striker slid the ball past Burns into the bottom corner.
Banbridge Rangers Swifts will look to keep the pressure on the top three teams in the league when they travel to Aghalee on Saturday to play Broomhedge with kick off at 2.15pm.