Banbridge Town Juniors U16s lost out 2-1 to Valley Rangers in a decisive League Cup game at the Tech pitch on Saturday.
The Juniors started the match brightly, passing the ball about with purpose as they pressed Valley straight from the off. It didn’t take long to push Valley right back and begin testing their keeper.
The Juniors found an early breakthrough in the fourth minute when Ryan Sloan fired home from all of 25 yards with a thunderous drive.
At the other end, captain Jordan Walker and Ryan Jones dealt with every attack, which Valley tried to launch. The Juniors were unable to find a second goal before the break despite having the best chances of the half, Sam Moore and Liam Farrell going closest to extending the lead.
In the second half, Valley fought hard to find a way back into the match, putting the Juniors under pressure. The Juniors’ back four stood strong, with keeper Conor Ward making a string of top drawer saves to keep his side in the lead.
The Juniors almost doubled the avantage when striker Sam Moore rolled his defender and broke through one on one, only to be denied by the Valley keeper.
Valley found an equaliser when the ball broke to their striker who made no mistake. Valley even found themselves going ahead on 17 minutes when a ball whipped across found an unmarked man who finished well.
The Juniors fought hard to find an equaliser, however an inspired performance from the Valley keeper denied Sam McAllister on more than one occasion and prevented the locals getting back into the game.
Valley were award a penalty right at the death but keeper Conor Ward ensured his 100% record with spot kicks this season remained intact as he somehow stretched to keep out the penalty which was bound for the bottom corner.
This week’s MOTM was keeper Conor Ward for a commanding performance from the big green shot stopping machine who pushed his team forward right to the end.