Missed chances and sloppy errors to blame for Town’s opening day defeat

Leslie Mathews on behalf of Adrian Higgins from The Red Star Bar presents Banbridge Town Chairman Stephen Radcliffe with sponsorship for the season opener against Portstewart.
Leslie Mathews on behalf of Adrian Higgins from The Red Star Bar presents Banbridge Town Chairman Stephen Radcliffe with sponsorship for the season opener against Portstewart.

Banbridge Town’s opening day defeat could so easily have gone the other way.

That’s the view of Town boss Ryan Watson, who says there wasn’t much between his side and 2-0 victors Portstewart.

However, as his side’s chances slipped by and the defence presented simple opportunities to the visitors, he was left to wonder what might have been.

“It was a fairly tight game,” he told the ‘LEADER.’

“It was typical first day of the season stuff. We hit the post a couple of times in the first half and there wasn’t much in it.

“We started off the game well. We had a good tempo and were working very hard but then we lost our way a wee bit. Half-time at 0-0 was probably a fair reflection on the first half. At that stage, we were hopeful of pushing on for the second half to try and keep things tight and get something out of the game.”

However, things weren’t to go just as well as two defensive errors let the side from the north coast secure a two goal victory.

“We didn’t start well after the break and we were caught out 10 minutes in,” said Watson. “We didn’t deal with a corner-kick and it was a very soft goal to give away. That was very frustrating. Any team that scores against, you want to make sure they work hard for it.

“At half-time, I thought whoever scored first would win it and it gave them a huge lift to go on. It knocked us back a bit but we pushed on. We probably were the better team towards the ened but then they put a ball into our box and two defenders went to clear it. They got caught in each other’s way and one cleared it against the other. It dropped to their man inside the six yard box and he scored.

“They were two very sloppy goals that could have been avoided. If we had come away with a 0-0 draw and a point on the board, we’d have taken it. There wasn’t much in the game so it’s disappointing to come away with nothing. I wouldn’t say they were any better than us.

“It’s frustrating because the goals were gifted to them whereas we worked a couple of good moves and hit the crossbar and and Martin Buchanan had another great header well tipped over by their keeper.

“We needed to get the first goal and it didn’t come.”

Two of the club’s new signings made their debuts off the bench although Ally Wilson was on honeymoon and Ryan Evans is out injured.

“Ryan Gregg and Ryan Gourley came on and did ok,” said Watson.

“We tried to change things about a bit when they came on. Theyd din’t let themselves down. Now it will just take time to get our startin 11 settled.

“There’s work to be done but we knew that anyway. We’ll stay positive.”