Glebe Rangers’ new Manager Jason Wilmont (only in the job a few days) could not have dreamed of a better start to his career than his side’s facile 4-0 victory over a poor Banbridge Town team.
For his opposite number Ryan Watson’s frank view of Town’s performance, see the back page of this week’s LEADER.
This was a game Town should have been capable of winning but after their third defeat in succession, one wonders just what has gone wrong?
Gone was the fighting spirit they were renowned for earlier in the season with the side sadly lacking leaders when the chips were down.
They started brightly enough and after only three minutes, Mark Teggart played Ryan Gourley in with a deft pass and the latter forced a fine save from Glebe keeper Kane.
It was the Banbridge keeper James McConville’s turn to come to his sides rescue on six minutes when he stopped a Morrison drive after the Glebe man had latched onto a Glen Waddle slip.
The homesters began to exert control and their dangerous number nine Nicholl wasted a glorious chance when he shot straight at McConville after a really good move.
However, two minutes later the bearded Nicholl put his side 1-0 ahead with probably the best goal Town have conceded this season. He cut in at pace and rounded Stephen Greene before slotting past the advancing McConville.
Town responded with an Ally Wilson snapshot from 25 yards which Kane held at the second attempt and after 21 minutes Ryan Gourley was hauled down by Glebe’s Alan Shepherd when racing through. The Rangers player was booked but can feel lucky to have remained on the pitch.
Banbridge then lost Glen Waddle to injury being replaced by Conor Downey with James Wilson moving to the centre of the defence. Nathan Baird moved back to his traditional left back spot.
Downey’s first contribution was to fire a free-kick into the side netting after a foul on Ally Wilson on the half-hour. Home keeper Kane had to be alert to save from Mark Teggart after a good passage of play from Town on 38 minutes, one of their rare good moves on a day they will quickly want to forget.
Things didn’t get any better on the injury front when Town lost Michael Ferguson after 41 minutes, his replacement the promising Gareth Orr.
Glebe were now well on top and Kennoway fired wide when well placed and McConville again rescued Banbridge with a great stop from Christie. Town received a bitter blow on the half-time whistle when after Stephen Greene had headed clear a right wing corner it fell at the feet of Glebe’s Dobbins who gratefully steered it into the corner.
This was a real hammer blow for the visitors but worse was to follow three minutes into the second half when Nicholl found himself unmarked on the edge of the box and fired past the helpless McConville to make it 3-0.
In the space of three playing minutes, Town had conceded twice and the game was gone. Frustration entered the Banbridge play and resulted in bookings for Downey, Greene and Buchanan.
On 80 minutes, Ryan Gourley fired a scorcher across goal that looked like going in but for the acrobatic Kane who scrambled it away for a fruitless corner. Glebe, however, were not finished with the scoring and after 88 minutes Christie rounded McConville for a simple tap in to complete the scoring on a miserable afternoon for Banbridge.
In the dying embers of the game Kane scuffed his attempted clearance and Ally Wilson was unlucky to shoot inches wide with a good effort. But it would have made no difference to a disappointing afternoon.
GLEBE RANGERS: B. Kane, J. Morrison, S. Shaw, A. Shepherd, C. Dobbins, K. Brace, D. McVicker, P. Kennoway, C. Nicholl, I. Christie, M. McDowell.
Subs: J. Hume, C. Byers, B. Tosh, L. McIlveen.
BANBRIDGE TOWN: J. McConville, M. Ferguson, J. Wilson, S. Greene, G. Waddle, S. Jones, M. Teggart, M. Buchanan, A. Wilson, R. Gourley, N. Baird.
Subs: G. Orr (Ferguson 41), C. Downey (Waddle 23), D. Stoddart.
Referee: John Deighan, Limavady.