Town dominate again but the wait for a win goes on in Championship Two

Ryan Gourley was a thorn in the side of Newington YC on Saturday but ultimately, he and his Banbridge Town team-mates couldn't find a way past the home side's defence. INBL1517-246EB
Ryan Gourley was a thorn in the side of Newington YC on Saturday but ultimately, he and his Banbridge Town team-mates couldn't find a way past the home side's defence. INBL1517-246EB

Banbridge Town faced Newington at Seaview on Saturday and came away with a second successive clean sheet but yet more frustration.

That’s because they were held to another 0-0 stalemate, having gone to Belfast hoping to get their first league win of the season.

With Conor Downey unavailable, Neil Barr started up front in an otherwise unchanged side.

Town started brightly and a through ball from captain Ryan Moffatt released Barr but keeper Dean Smyth was quickloff his line to clear the danger. Town continued to press with Gourley prominent; his cross from the right saw Barr and McGrath both test the keeper.

Buchanan and Anderson were doing a job of winning possession in midfield. After some good Town build up, Moffatt released Chris McGrath who beat the keeper to score but the goal was ruled out for offside.

Some loose passing and poor distribution allowed Newington more possession but their attack was well marshalled by Town’s back four.

Gourley was a constant threat and set up a great chance for Barr whose curling low shot from the edge of the area was turned round the post by the diving Newington keeper.

The home side were restricted to long range crosses which the defence and keeper Croft dealt with comfortably. Buchanan was rather harshly booked for trying to get the ball off a Newington player following the award of a free-kick. Thompson played the ball into the area but the ball was headed clear and the first half ended scoreless.

Town started the second half as they did the first, dominating possession and attacking in waves. After five minutes, Buchanan played a great ball to Gourley on the right and his measured cross found Barr free in the box but with only the keeper to beat, his first tine effort was somehow scrambled to safety.

Town continued to have most of the play with Barr holding the ball up well allowing the midfield to join the attack; Chris McGrath set up Gourley whose shot was blocked and the rebound was fired over by Buchanan.

The home side replaced Scolbay with Dempsey up front as they tried to penetrate Town’s defence. A Thompson cross from the left was picked up by Barr whose shot was deflected wide for a corner. Moffatt delivered a good ball into the box but Stephen Greene’s header went wide.

Chris Kingsberry replaced Buchanan with 20 minutes left and five minutes later the hard working Barr was replaced by Duncan Stoddart.

Neither side were content to settle for a draw; Thompson, Kingsberry, Moffatt, Gourley and McGrath were prominent in Town’s attacks with Kingsberry’s shot from the edge of the area going closest as it just cleared the Newington crossbar.

With minutes remaining, Stoddart played in Gourley but his shot was cleared. A Newington free-kick from midway inside Town’s half was headed clear by Waddell whilst at the other end a Thompson free-kick was also headed clear.

The game ended scoreless but the disappointment was evident in the faces of the Town players as they left the field; just as last week this was a game they dominated but they couldn’t convert that into a win and the much needed three points that their performance deserved.

Next Saturday it’s a home game at Crystal Park against Portstewart with KO 3.00pm.

TOWN: Croft, Thompson, Greene, Waddell, Wilson, Moffatt, Buchanan (Kingsberry 75), Anderson, Gourley, Barr (Stoddart 80).

Subs: Murphy, Ferguson.