Banbridge Town AFC got their competitive season underway on Saturday but couldn’t get their first win in their first game under their new guise.
They were turned over by visitors Cookstown Celtic, who bagged two second half goals to claim a 2-0 victory.
Town AFC started well and played some good football for the opening 20 minutes but Celtic soon got a grip on the game and started piling the pressure on the young Banbridge back line.
The hosts defence, however, stood firm and, with some terrific defending especially from young Brian Johnson, AFC went in 0-0 at half time.
After the break, it was a different story as they never really got started and seemed to be penned back in their own half.
AFC tried to push up the pitch but it was their quality in the final third that let them down. They were punished at the other end when a penalty was awarded as the Celtic striker went down in the box and the referee pointed to the spot. In a strange move, it was the Celtic keeper who stepped up to take it but he made no mistake, rifling the ball into Phil Goan’s net, leaving the keeper with no chance.
Up to that point, the young Banbridge team had held their own and the penalty only spurred the Town team into life.
They played some terrific football, pushing Celtic further and further back into their own half. Going all out attach, Town created some decent chances but just couldn’t get the break they needed.
The sucker punch came with five minutes to go as Celtic broke and sealed the victory with their second goal, leaving the final score at 2-2.