Selection headache brewing for boss ahead of busy week for Town

Banbridge Town are still hoping for their first clean sheet of the season. INBL1437-246eb
Banbridge Town are still hoping for their first clean sheet of the season. INBL1437-246eb

Banbridge Town boss Ryan Watson has a selection headache brewing ahead of his side’s double header this week.

Town travel to Stangmore Park to take on Dungannon Swifts tonight (Tuesday - kick-off 7.45pm) in the second round of the Mid-Ulster Cup before returning to Crystal Park to take on Newington in Championship Two on Saturday afternoon (kick-off 2pm).

Watson’s squad is again down to the bare bones with Steve Jones, Matthew McCartan and Neil Watson all likely to miss at least one of those games with injury.

“That’s a worry for us,” said the boss. “Matthew has a long-term foot injury that he has been struggling with and Neil went over on his ankle during the first half on Saturday. Steve Jones is very doubtful as well so we’ll be bringing a few of the reserve team guys with us.”

The last time Town met Dungannon, it ended in bitter disappointment for the locals as their hopes of a first Mid-Ulster Cup title in 33 years were dashed by a 2-1 extra-time defeat. This time, Watson is wary that his opposite number may put out a full strength Premiership side.

“Darren (Murphy - Dungannon manager) could be thinking along those lines but hopefully the lads can go out and perform to the best of their abilities,” he said. We just want to go and put in a good performance. It’ll be a real contrast to what we are used to playing against.

“The prioirty is Saturday’s league game so anything from Tuesday’s game will be a bonus.”

On Saturday, Town will be looking to avenge another extra-time defeat, this time to Newington in the League Cup in August.

“We owe them after the last game,” said a determined Watson.

“I want to get back to winning ways as soon as possible so I’ll be expecting a good performance from the boys.

“We have enjoyed playing at home recently so hopefully we can continue that.”

Town are also still searching for their first clean sheet of the season, having leaked as many as 20 goals in their opening eight league matches.

Saturday’s opponents Newington, meanwhile, netted just seven in their opening six league games.