‘We have achieved nothing yet’ says table-topping Banbridge Town boss

Banbridge Town Manager Stuart King. Photo Paul Byrne Photography INBL-1631-210PB TOWN FC
Banbridge Town Manager Stuart King. Photo Paul Byrne Photography INBL-1631-210PB TOWN FC

Banbridge Town are at the top of the table for the first time in 12 years - but it means nothing according to the manager.

They reached the NIFL Premier Intermediate League summit with a 2-1 win at the home of former league leaders Donegal Celtic.

But for Town boss Stuart King, it’s not an event to get overly excited about.

He said:“I’ve learned from the managers that I played under. In situations like this, they always reminded us that we’ve done nothing yet. It’s true. The lads have done well so far but we haven’t achieved anything.

“We all play football to win things or to achieve promotions. We haven’t done that so hopefully the boys keep themselves grounded.”

Town host Dundela at Crystal Park on Saturday (kick-off 2pm) and King knows that this and every game now will be even more difficult to win.

He said: “It’s going to be harder for us. Now we’re the team that everyone else is going to be trying to knock off the top. I know what it’s like - teams raise their game when they’re playing a side who are top of the league.

“If anybody is going to take that spot from us, they’re going to have to earn us because we’ll fight hard.

“It’s going to be another tough game on Saturday. We were on a six game unbeaten run when we went down there last time, we were 1-0 up at half-time and were turned over 3-1.

“There are a lot of teams trying to take points off each other. We know we have to win these games.”

This weekend, Town will still be without midfielder Kevin Anderson, who will be unavailable for another few weeks as he recovers from illness, whilst the manager himself serves the final game of his suspension.

“The lads were outstanding against DC last Saturday,” King continued, reflecting on the narrow win as goals from Stephen Acheson and Ross Black saw off Donegal Celtic.

“I had told them before the game that nobody has been able to knock DC off the top of the table since October. This was our chance to put ourselves into a good position and the boys played really well.

“We knew they hadn’t played a competitive game in a few weeks so we knew that if we could start the game quickly, we could put ourselves into a good place.

“We did that with the goal in the second minute and we could even have been two or three up within the first 15 minutes.”

Town are now two points clear of Donegal Celtic but have played a game more while Limavady United are six points adrift with four league games in hand on Stuart King’s men.