Banbridge Town Under 17 Bs went down 4-3 to Wakehurst at Wallace Playing Fields last Saturday in the Lisburn League.
A wet and miserable morning began with Town in total control. Banbridge were confident on the ball as they passed and moved with great intent right from the first whistle with Jordan Walker the driving force in midfield.
Captain Jake Laffin was getting plenty of joy down the Town left, as Jordan Walker and Rhys Jones fed him with some quality balls in behind the Wakehurst defence.
Banbridge had a bit of defending to do but Ryan Sloan and Ryan Jones were solid at the back.
With 14 minutes on the clock, Banbridge won a corner which Wakehurst only partially cleared to the feet of Josh Dennison whose long range effort was too much for the keeper to hold and found its way to the back of the net.
The Banbridge boys had the upper hand, and were winning challenges in the midfield with Adam Dickson keeping his man at bay and Jordan Walker driving at his opponents as he caused more problems.
Banbridge found a second goal on 24 minutes when an effort from Rhys Jones could only be parried by the Wakehurst keeper before it was converted by Jonny Rodgers who gambled with a follow up run.
Town were unlucky not to be three up when Jake Laffin broke down the left, before pinging a left footed strike which came off the crossbar. Wakehurst clawed a goal back when their right back followed up on a clearance and hit a great effort from the edge of the area to make it 2-1 at half-time.
With the second half underway, it was a case of a game of two halves for the Town. In stark contrast to the first half, Banbridge were unable to get hold of the ball and play out from their half.
Wakehurst smelt blood and piled on more and more pressure, which the Town defence had to dig deep to cut out.
Josh Dennison and Jake Dermott were trying to get the ball out down the flanks however they were met with a wall of resistance from Wakehurst.
The game was level when Wakehurst won a corner and worked it well to bury their chance to tie the scores at 2-2.
Banbridge were unable to regroup, and found themselves behind for the first time three minutes later, again from a corner. With Banbridge trailing, a reshuffle in the team to add some fresh legs and find another goal was needed.
Wakehurst got their fourth, though, and pulled two ahead from yet another corner with only 10 minutes left.
Banbridge were not deterred in their efforts and almost scored straight from the restart. A great move down the right with Josh Dennison, Jake Laffin and Jake Dennison worked a great opportunity for Jake Dennison to bury his chance only denied by a great save from the Wakehurst keeper.
A wave of Banbridge pressure narrowed Wakehurst’s lead to only one as they scored a third goal through Sam McAllister, whose late run into the box allowed him to score a volley.
Time was not on the side of the local lads, though, as they slipped to defeat.
This week’s man of the match was Josh Dennison for ruthless defending and an inspired performance at right back.