Determined Town AFC hold on to lead for win

Banbridge Town AFC edged their way to three points. INBL1545-235EB
Banbridge Town AFC edged their way to three points. INBL1545-235EB

After inexcusably throwing away a three goal lead at half time last week to lose 4-3 at Valley Rangers, Town AFC were determined not to let history repeat itself.

And they succeeded as a dogged second half display saw them to a 3-2 win over Coagh United Reserves on Saturday.

Coagh started the better of the two sides and were unlucky not to lead after a free kick crashed against the face of the home side’s crossbar.

AFC then had a goal wrongfully ruled out for offside after Stephen McCavitt, squared a loose ball from a free kick for Daire McCluskey to tap in, only for the latter to be adjudged offside.

Coagh seized fully on this reprieve by taking the lead mid-way through the first half with a well taken goal into the left hand corner.

This then spurred on the young AFC team who scored three goals in the last 15 minutes of the first half to lead at the break.

The first came when Ross Fitzpatrick broke through the centre of the defence and slotted in low to the keeper’s left.

Brian Johnston added the second five minutes later when he converted a penalty after Fitzpatrick had been felled in the penalty area.

McCavitt then put some breathing space between the sides with Town’s third just before the half, with a right footed drive after out pacing his marker down the right.

The second half was less entertaining than the first as Town sat back and defended their lead.

The visitors increased the nerves around the ground by pulling a goal back 15 minutes into the second half with Town Keeper Nathan Andrews unlucky not to claw the snap shot back over the line in time.

The goal would certainly have given the AFC management visions of last week’s collapse, but Town’s defence were not to broken down again as they all put their bodies on the line to repel any Coagh attack.

With only a couple of minutes remaining McCavitt could have sealed the points early but spurned what seemed like an easy chance after good work by sub David Houston.

This victory will give AFC every confidence in their ability to see out more games in the future and ensured that they have still only been beaten twice in the league since the end of October.

With an average age of around 18 in Saturday’s squad the future looks bright for not only the reserve squad but also the Town first team too.

TOWN: Andrews, Toner, Martin, Johnston, Devlin, McCavitt, Hayes, Canning, Gray, McCluskey, Fitzpatrick. Subs: Montgomery, Houston, Weir.