Injuries to key defenders take their toll on Reserves

BANBRIDGE Rangers Reserves entertained Lurgan Celtic Reserves on Friday night at Cheney Park with six regular players unable to play through injury including three off the back four.

In a game that could have went either way it was ultimately won by Celtics clinical finishing which punished Rangers poor conversion when they had good chances early in the second half to take the lead in the game.

The away team opened the scoring after twenty minutes after an evenly contested opening period with a well drilled shot past keeper Johnston from eight yards out. John McCahon had an effort saved by the keeper when through on goal after the half hour mark with Rangers looking likely to score next on the counter attack.

On forty two minutes the goal of the game arrived with Banbridge Rangers equalising through midfield playmaker Russell King who spun his marker on the half way line and after driving forward unopposed the King let rip with a thunderous shot that rattled the underside of the cross bar before bouncing over the line in a likeness with Lampards controversial goal against Germany in the last World Cup.

After the break Banbridge Rangers had the better opportunities to take the lead with McCahons attempted chip on forty nine minutes being well read by the keeper and was denied again by the Lurgan keeper three minutes later when sent through one on one. The squandered chances were punished almost immediately by Lurgan Celtic who fired home their second goal of the game with their right midfielder putting his laces through the ball after being played in over the top on the counter attack.

Just before the hour mark Lurgan Celtic showed their clinical finishing again with their striker netting from the edge of the area. Colin Gallagher came on into midfield alongside McMinn in palce of Stuart Cairns but was unable to prevent Lurgan scoring a fourth goal with twenty five minutes remaining. Dean Gordon and Trevor McMinn came into the game with fifteen minutes remaining in place of King and Wilson with Rangers only chance in the later stages coming through winger Weir who shot straight at the keeper when fed through by McCahon.

This Saturday the Reserves will host Coagh United at the Tech with kick off at 2.15pm whilst the Swifts will be travelling to Donacloney Reserves on Saturday after their game against Lurgan Thistle was called off on Saturday due to waterlogged pitch.