Town host festive derby at Crystal Park

Banbridge Town host Dollingstown on Saturday in their festive derby. INBL1442-256EB
Banbridge Town host Dollingstown on Saturday in their festive derby. INBL1442-256EB

Banbridge Town are hoping for a bumper crowd on Saturday as they host a festive local derby.

They’re at home to Championship Two newcomers Dollingstown (kick-off 2pm) in a game that they’re hoping will attract a big support.

“This is a match we’ve been looking forward to since the fixtures were drawn,” said Town boss Ryan Watson.

“It will be a big game and a big day for the club. Hopefully we can get a good crowd in from both team’s supporters and get a good atmosphere in Crystal Park.

“Football matches in and around the festive period tend to be a bit special. They are usually cup finals or the Premier League derbies so it’ll be great to have a derby of our own.

“It’ll be a new derby in the league for us but one that we’re very much looking forward to.”

With little other sport taking place that day and the Danske Bank Premiership derbies on Boxing Day, the crowd will, Bann are hoping, be at a maximum.

On the pitch, Watson wants his side to make sure they don’t disappoint. Town could do with a result as they’re now without a win in their last four Championship Two matches.

Dollingstown, meanwhile, have fared much better. They’ve won three of their last four, including an eye-catching 6-1 victory over Coagh United.

That has lifted the former Mid-Ulster heavyweights six points and four places above Town having played a game less. Watson is keen to reel them in with a much needed home win.

“We want to try and push on as soon as possible and we really want to end the year with a positive result,” he said.

“This would be a great game to do that in. The players will be well motivated for it and we’ll all be trying to do well for the club and get the right result.

“I’m sure Dollinstown are happy with how things have gone so far.

“It’s a new experience for them but I expected them to be up where they are at the minute. I’m sure they did too and it’s no surprise that they have done so well so far.

“I expected us to be up along with them though. That’s where we need to get to.”

Town could be without Nathan Baird and Stephen Jones, both of whom are struggling with injury.