Saturday could be a ‘special day’ for Town

Banbridge Town begin their Irish Cup campaign at Crystal Park on Saturday afternoon against Ards. They go into the game as huge underdogs but that hasn't stopped them dreaming of a place in round five.
Banbridge Town begin their Irish Cup campaign at Crystal Park on Saturday afternoon against Ards. They go into the game as huge underdogs but that hasn't stopped them dreaming of a place in round five.

Banbridge Town boss Ryan Watson has challenged his side to make Saturday a “special day” for the club with a big Irish Cup upset.

Town host Championship One challengers Ards at Crystal Park (kick-off 1.30pm) in the fourth round on Saturday hoping to defy the odds.

The visitors are currently 23 league places above Town and have won the last nine meetings between the teams.

Fresh off the back of an encouraging draw at Queen’s, however, Watson is targetting an unlikely place alongside the Premiership teams in round five.

“Ards are flying high in Championship One so they will be a tough, tough ask but it’s Irish Cup day and it’s something special,” he said.

“It’s something different and we’re at home. We go in big underdogs but we’ll be prepared with a game plan and hopefully we can provide a big shock.

“It will take everything we did last Saturday and more to do that but we’re looking forward to it. There’s no pressure on us and we just want to do ourselves justice. If we play a bit beyond our normal levels and they have an off day, you just never know.

“It’s a special day and we’ll give it a go.”

Watson has also appealed for all the club’s supporters to turn out in number to help cheer their side on to 
that upset.

He said: “Ards generally have a good travelling support. Hopefully our own support can come out in numbers and make it a really good atmosphere. That would really help us along and it would be great for the players to experience that. It could be a really special day for the club.”

The game will be a new experience for some players and Watson is hoping they will take to the new challenge well.

“Some of the players, like Adam Dennison, won’t have played in this stage of the Irish Cup before or against a team of this level,” he said. “It will be a great learning curve for them. They have to embrace it and do their best to make sure they don’t freeze on the day.”