A trip down the motorway to the Joe McAree Stadium was fruitless for Banbridge AFC, who suffered a 3-0 defeat to Dungannon Tigers at the weekend.
The Boys Club frustrated the Tigers early on, with a resolute back three and hard work from their wing backs Decky Flynn and Shane McKinley.
However, a forceful drive by the Tigers broke the deadlock as a deflected shot found the net on 22 minutes.
In previous games, this would have seen the opening of the floodgates, but not this time. A more sturdy AFC regained their composure and fought back. On 34 minutes, some fine interplay between Neil McCullough and Simon Canning led to a shot from McCullough being well blocked.
Sadly for AFC, a second goal came for the home team four minutes into the second half. A cleared corner fell to the Tigers centre-back on the edge of the box and his shot squeezed through a corwded box and an AFC defender’s legs.
Showing great character not to concede any more, AFC held their two banks of defence and sought to score on the counter attack. Paul Maginess’ selfless chasing down of every ball was an encouraging sign.
AFC seemed to have weathered the best the Tigers could throw at them and the home side grew frustrated. This came to the fore when a young midfielder kicked out at AFC’s Peter Ogunbanwo, leaving the ref with no choice but to show him red.
Late on, Aaron Monghan came close and in the dying minutes, a well delivered pass by young Karl Cull found Canning in the box who seemed to be brought down. With the AFC lads claiming for a penalty, the referee disagreed.
Proud manager Chris Beattie said: “I was very impressed by the work rate and attitude of my players today. I will be taking away many positives from this game. It is imperative that the lads do too, to help them push onwards in search of that first point.”