Rangers unlucky not to take all three points

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BANBRIDGE Rangers travelled to Armagh to take on Blackers Mill in the first ever meeting between the two sides.

Andy Frazer made several changes from the side that lost out to Coalisland Athletic before the Christmas break and it was clear that it would be a tough afternoon to play football on such a saturated pitch.

In the first half Banbridge Rangers controlled long spells off possession but failed to breach a determined Mill back line who were prepared to sit and absorb any pressure that came their way.

Mark Wilton was dictating play in the centre of the park and almost found the break through before half time with a thunderous effort from 20 yards that rattled the crossbar but bounced down and back into play.

Front men Colin Cousins and Richie McMinn both saw efforts blocked to leave both sides at a 0-0 stalemate.

After the interval Trevor Tate was introduced for Wayne McAllister and with it came a change in shape with the hope of breaking the deadlock.

This duly arrived before the hour mark when a second phase corner kick was picked up on the edge of the area by McMinn who dropped the shoulder past his marker and drilled the ball low across goal where an outstretched Blackers Mill leg diverted the ball into his own net.

Rangers were in control after this with Wayne Nelson coming on into left back and shortly after he got involved in some neat build up down the left hand flank with Colin Cousins on hand to slot home and make it 2-0 to the Gers with about five minutes left on the clock.

At this point in the game the three valuable points looked shored up but on 88 minutes Blackers Mill forced a corner and headed in from close range past Blevins who had been a spectator for most of the match.

As the game re-started into injury time Blackers Mill launched everything forward and a quick throw in set their winger free and he crossed to the back post where the opposite winger was on hand to blast home an unlikely equaliser and grab a point for his side.

This Saturday Banbridge Rangers travel to Glenavy to play Crewe United who drew 1-1 at Cheney Park in the first game off the season.