Banbridge Ladies win on return to league action

Banbridge Town Ladies.
Banbridge Town Ladies.

BTLFC beat Newtown Forest 3-1 as they got back to league action with a win after suffering a narrow defeat last week in the IFA Cup.

Banbridge defensively were very strong and limited the away team to a few long range efforts that were easily dealt with by Danielle Byrne in nets.

This paired with a strong attacking effort meant that Banbridge were controlling the game and were rewarded with the breakthrough goal after 25 minutes.

Adrianna McMullan swung in a curling effort from a corner and the away goalkeeper could not deal with it allowing Adri to score her first for the season directly from the corner kick.

Banbridge again went on the offensive and with chances falling to the forward four of Smith, Hagen, Lennon and Spence but due to some great defensive work by Newtown Forest it remained 1-0 at half time.

The second half started as the first ended with Banbridge in the ascendancy but again the chances created could not be converted.

It was on the 60th minute when the tide of the game was turned by a controversial refereeing decision.

Tiffany Hagen was taken down with a strong challenge and, in appealing for a foul, the referee firstly branded a yellow card only for it to be changed to a straight red and leave the Town Ladies down to 10 players.

After this, it could be seen that the home side was visibly shaken and lost the control of the game they earlier held and the opposition quickly took advantage of it.

A quick break by Newtown Forest from a ball over the top of the home defence found an attacker free on the right hand side of the box and keeper Byrne tried in vain but just could not keep the shot out. 1-1.

It was from this point on that the Town Ladies showed great resilience and character as they stepped up their game and took control.

It only took another 10 minutes for Banbridge to readjust to their new tactics after the red card and start attacking once more.

The second for Town came after a ball over the top from Adri McMullan found Katie Lennon, who shook off the defender to leave herself one on one with the keeper.

Her shot rattled off the post and fell at the feet of Chelsea Smith, who quickly controlled the ball and got her shot away to get her first league goal of the season.

The third and final goal of the game came through Smith after a throw in was taken to Becky Thompson, who played a great sweeping ball 40 yards to Chelsea who then rifled home a volley from just outside the box to seal the victory.

Banbridge confidently seen out the game from here and proved their worth with a great display throughout.

Notable performances came from Carrie Moffatt, Kym McKergan and Michelle Spence but all 14 players were excellent from the first whistle to the last and deservedly picked up the win and three points to take them third.