Rangers unbeaten in six after another shut-out

Debutant Matthew Dodds along with Chairman John Patterson, Captain Colin Cousins, Manager Richard McMinn and Coach George McCallister.
Debutant Matthew Dodds along with Chairman John Patterson, Captain Colin Cousins, Manager Richard McMinn and Coach George McCallister.

Banbridge Rangers kept their good form alive in Intermediate A on Saturday with a comfortable 2-0 win over AFC Craigavon.

The Gers have won five and drawn one of their last six games with Saturday’s win being the third consecutive clean sheet which was secured by a late penalty save from keeper Chris Davison.

There was also a club record broken on Saturday when Matthew Dodds came off the bench to become the youngest senior debutant at the tender age of 15.

Banbridge Rangers opened the scoring in the 11th minute through centre half Christopher Chambers who found the very bottom corner from 30 yards out with a rasping first time shot after coming onto a layoff from Andy Mallen.

The lead could have been doubled in the 39th minute when Adam Beattie headed a corner onto the post and when the rebound was headed goalward by Jonny O’Neill the man on the line managed to block and clear his lines.

Both Cousins and Mallen went close to getting the crucial second goal in the opening quarter of the second half and on 64 minutes a low fizzing cross from Jonny Porter saw Andy Mallen connect with an outstretched leg but went the wrong side of the post.

It looked like it wasn’t to be Mallen’s day as he looped a header onto the bar five minutes later when Jonny O’Neill stood one up from the byline.

The second goal eventually arrived on 71 minutes through some quick thinking down the right wing with Cousins peeling off the last defender to convert the inswinging free-kick into the bottom corner unopposed from ten yards.

AFC Craigaon were then awarded a penalty kick but even that couldn’t get past young keeper Chrissy Davison, diving to his bottom left corner to push the spot kick around the post.

In the final ten minutes a debut was given to 15 year old Matthew Dodds who has shown his confidence and ability at youth level and when joining into recent senior training sessions.

RANGERS: Davison, McCrum, Gregg, Chambers, Frazer, Porter, O’Neill, Beattie (Dodds 86), Cousins, Mallen (McMinn 82), Gourley.