Town ‘are a different animal’ ahead of derby

Banbridge Town's Ryan Gourley shields the ball from Limavady United's Conor Harkin. INBL1605-247PB
Banbridge Town's Ryan Gourley shields the ball from Limavady United's Conor Harkin. INBL1605-247PB

Whether or not it ends up a derby day mauling, Banbridge Town need to show their teeth on Saturday.

Manager Ryan Watson says his team are now ‘a different animal’ to the Town side that were twice swept aside by Dollingstown last season. And he wants them to prove it.

They travel to Planter’s Park on Saturday (kick-off 3pm), hoping to beat their near neighbours for the first time since the Dollybirds won promotion to the NIFL.

They didn’t even score in the two Championship Two meetings last season, when Dollingstown won 3-0 and 4-0.

“In the games against them last season, we didn’t really do ourselves justice.

“We’re a different animal this year,” said Watson. “Hopefully we will show that on Saturday and get a positive result.”

Town are the team in form this time, beaten once in their last 10 league games while Dollingstown have lost two of their last three, including a heavy 6-1 defeat to Moyola on Saturday.

“They have been going along nicely this season and their keeper was sent off on Saturday so that inflated the result and we’ll not read into that too much,” said Watson,

“We’re not thinking about them, it’s all about us and what we’re doing.

“It’s a derby game and one we want to win to keep our run going.”

Just a point separates the sides in the table, Town narrowly ahead but having played one game more.

The Crystal Park side, however, are not without their injury worries. Marty Buchanan and Stuart Thompson are likely to again miss this weekend’s game while Conor Downey and Neil Barr will be assessed in training this week.

Also likely to return to training this week is Adam Pedlow, whose ankle ligament injury hasn’t proved anywhere near as bad as first feared.

Town’s solid defence, however, could be set to change with Glen Waddell possible unavailable.

“We haven’t conceded from open play for the last two games so we want to keep a settled defence. If Glen was missing, it would be a blow but then it also gives somebody else a chance,” said Watson.