BANBRIDGE Rangers Swifts maintained their 100% win record in the league on Saturday with a well earned win at the Tech against Dungannon Rovers Reserves.
The win take Rangers third string into joint second place in Reserve Division four with Dungannon but crucially the Tyrone side have played and lost three games more than the Banbridge side.
On a miserable day Banbridge Rangers set up with a different back four from the previous weeks game welcoming back the influential Wayne Nelson in the centre alongside Kyle McKnight. Dungannon Rovers first team had been called off earlier in the week due to a bereavement of an opposing player and were able to strengthen their own back line and midfield with several key players on Saturday.
In an evenly contested first half both sides were only able to create half chances with Rangers front pair of John McCahon and Chrissy McGladdery working tirelessly to create openings through the centre. The game was scoreless at the half time interval with Rangers looking to keep the ball on the ground and try and play some quick football to unlock the Dungannon back four.
Several set pieces helped set the home side gain a bit of momentum in attack but Dungannon held firm with their two centre halves clearing everything that came their way. A double substitution before the hour mark saw both Rangers wingers McMinn and Gribben replaced with McGladdery able to move wide right in midfield. Within two minutes of the change Rangers opened up Dungannon for the first time in the game and resulted in the opening goal. John McCahon dropped deep to pick up a throw in and skipped majestically past two challenges before a quick one two with McGladdery opened the angle for a shot with McCahon curling home from the edge of the area for the third successive game.
Dungannon went on the offensive and pegged Rangers back in their own half from the restart with Ian Wilson and James Monteith having to sit in front of the back four. The game was all level with just over twenty minutes to go when Dungannon fired in past Rangers keeper Steven McMinn after a quick counter attack. The shift in momentum changed to the away side who began to push forward in search of a winner but with fifteen minutes remaining Banbridge Rangers were able to break away on the counter attack and a weighted ball from McGladdery slipped McCahon through one on one with the keeper and he curled his second goal of the day beyond the reaches of the Dungannon keeper.
The Banbridge back four of McInness, Nelson, McKnight and McAllister held firm in the remaining minutes as Dungannon threatened with several dangerous crosses into the box. The Rangers contingent were delighted at gaining all three points in the heavy rain and kept their title ambitions in tact with another good all round team performance. John McCahon showed his class with another two well taken goals to make it six in the last three matches for the Swifts and Christopher McGladdery also shone with the two assists. Wayne Nelson and Kyle McKnight were superb at the back and kept Dungannon at bay with some decisive tackling and composed football at the back.
This Saturday Banbridge Rangers Swifts will host Red Star Reserves at the Tech in the league providing there is a week of no rainfall at the heavily saturated Tech pitch. The Swifts would like to thank Club Chairman Richard McMinn for his generous donation of two new match balls for Saturdays game.