Banbridge are held to a draw at home by 10 man Celtic

It was a sign of how well Banbridge Town have progressed this season when most supporters left Crystal Park on Saturday disappointed with a draw.

However, it must be emphasised that a highly spirited Lurgan Celtic side deserved a share of the spoils especially after a battling display with 10 men for the final 40 minutes.

Town keeper Stephen Cairnduff was at his best after 15 minutes to push a stinging Marshall shot round for a corner and nine minutes later produced another good save from Fitzpatrick after O’Hara had made a strong forage into the Banbridge area.

The deadlock was broken a minute before the interval when the visitors took a 1 - 0 lead. It was number 10 Toland who grabbed the goal when he gathered a ball on the left-wing and slotted into the corner of the net. Fitzpatrick almost doubled the lead when he rattled Town’s bar after beating three home defenders on the half-time whistle.

Town opened the second half strongly and should have equalised after 47 minutes but Steven O’Neill headed a great Adam Pedlow cross against ‘keeper Toman.

Six minutes later Celtic were rocked when they lost Cochrane for a second yellow card and were reduced to 10 men. Banbridge began to turn the screw and exerted a lot of pressure on the fighting hoops. Substitutes Mark Teggart and Conor Downey combined as the latter blasted Teggart’s telling cross over from just five yards out.

The game was now being played in the Celtic half of the pitch with man-of-the-match Martin Buchanan and his back four colleagues joining in a lot of Town’s attacks. Finally on 80 minutes Town’s equaliser came. Paul Walsh sent Adam Pedlow racing down the left and this time Conor Downey made no mistake getting his head to the cross and netting to level matters. Toman then came to Celtic’s rescue after 85 minutes. He went full length to push a spectacular overhead kick from Conor Downey out for a corner and ensure that Town picked up only a point at Crystal Park.