Boost for battle for survival

BANBRIDGE Town’s battle for survival was given a massive boost on Saturday with a vital 3-1 win over Glebe Rangers.

A brace from Timmy Grant and a great solo effort from Greg Hall - his first goal of the season - handed the Town all three points.

And with bad results for Ballyclare and Ballymoney it looks like that - if Town can keep up the form in their last three games - that they will be safe.

Town went into the match without the suspended Neil King with Mark Stewart slotting into defence in his place. Matty McCartan was moved into midfield alongside Davy Hawthorne while Dee McParland was rested with the Regions Cup in mind.

Town were denied a penalty in the first minute when Timmy Grant claimed he was hauled down by the Glebe goalkeeper, who claimed Grant had his shirt - however the referee waved play on. Grant did get a shot in but it went wide of the target.

Dale Malone was then booked for diving on 15 minutes after he went down very easily under a challenge.

The locals went in front on 24 minutes when Timmy Grant switched the ball from left to right after being played through by McArdle, finishing with a low drive.

Within two minutes though Glebe Rangers pulled level. Their big defender Moore was playing a Rory Delap role with their throw-ins - it’s no exaggeration to say that if he was to take one from the halfway line he would easily find the penalty spot.

Over the 90 minutes Moore had 33 throw-ins, and from one of these Peter Cathaway finished to equalise after the Town defence failed to deal with the ball in. It was a rare occasion as Ricky Copeland was more than capable of clearing the throws throughout the game, winning almost every ball that he was faced with.

Before the break Town could have gone ahead when Malone beat two men but finished poorly when left with just the goalkeeper to beat.

They did get their noses back in front just as the referee was about to blow for half time. Jeff Brady swung in a free kick and with the Glebe defence unable to cope Grant nipped in to make it 2-1 from eight yards out.

The locals had the winds in their backs in the second half and there was a very strong wind to assist them throughout the remaining 45 minutes.

With time running out for Glebe they pushed forward looking for that equaliser. In came another Moore throw-in but this time Gareth Buchanan took the ball and set Greg Hall off on a run. With two Rangers players chasing him, he made it into the Glebe box and did superbly well to keep his cool and fire home to seal a fantastic three points for the locals.

Due to the international call-ups Town have no game this week and return to actioon on the 26th when they go to fellow strugglers Loughgall (3pm).

On Easter Tuesday at 7.45pm Banbridge Town go on the road to Larne and on May 3 Town and Glebe meet again in a re-arranged fixture at Crystal Park, kick off 7.15pm.