Johnston strikes a last gasp winner in U14 local derby

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A Ben Johnston strike in the last minute gave Town Juniors victory in the derby against Banbridge Rangers U14s.

The League Cup tie was played in horrendous windy conditions as both teams found it difficult to get into any sort of a passing game.

The Juniors played with the wind in the first half and were unlucky not to go ahead on three occasions when Reuben Turner rifled the post with a free kick and then struck the bar with another free. The same player was unfortunate again when the keeper made a good save from a well struck shot.

At the other end, Rangers striker Tom Stannage was their biggest threat but he saw a couple of good shots denied by the Town keeper and another curl inches wide. missed a couple of decent efforts, shooting wide on both occasions.

The Town took the lead late in the first half when James Orr flicked on a corner with his head and the ball fell to Shea Winters who made no mistake from close range.

The Juniors were forced back into their half in the early stages of the second period and Rangers got an equaliser five minutes into the half. Unsurprisingly, Stannage was the lad to get the goal and he latched onto a through ball from Adam Loughlin and poked in a finish under the keeper.

Rangers almost took the lead on two occasions - first Stannage struck a post with a decent shot then Town’s keeper Jonathon Cartmill made a super save pushing a close range effort onto the bar.

The Juniors upped the tempo in the last 15 minutes and put pressure on the Gers, creating some good chances.

This late pressure paid off when Rangers’ keeper Matthew Hillis was forced to make a save and it fell to Ben Johnston to blast home and secure the win.

It was a great local derby with impressive performances all round on both sides.