‘The players have taken stick but now deserve praise:’ boss

Banbridge Town's first win of the season came against title challengers Lurgan Celtic back in August. It looked a promising omen for the season but since then, only two more victories have followed. INLM_1012
Banbridge Town's first win of the season came against title challengers Lurgan Celtic back in August. It looked a promising omen for the season but since then, only two more victories have followed. INLM_1012

What a difference a game makes.

After their last outing, Banbridge Town boss Ryan Watson was heavily critical of his side, who had lost 4-0 at Glebe Rangers.

However, this week, he’s a lot more chipper and perhaps understandably so after watching his side twice come from behind to draw with Queen’s University at the Dub.

“It was a very, very good point and very hard earned,” he said.

“It was a good response from the players after the previous match and it gives us a good solid foundation to build on now.

“I was pleased with all the performances. It was a real team effort and more like the Banbridge Town I have known since I took over. They showed all the qualities we want in terms of of determintion, attitude and desire and they played some good football too.

“The players have taken some stick over the last while so they deserve some praise for Saturday’s performance.”

Despite the result, Bann actually dropped a league place thanks to Glebe Rangers’ victory over Coagh United but that result did help Town stretch the gap between themselves and the bottom three to five points.

“It was vital that we got something with not having a league game for a few weeks now,” said Watson, whose side don’t have another Championship Two match until the derby against Dollingstown at Crystal Park on 27 December.

“It’s good to get a point from Queen’s because we didn’t manage to take anything off them last season.

“Anybody who goes to Queen’s and gets anything will have done well and we could even have nicked all three points at the end. The players took a lot from the game and it’s another small step to where we want to be.”

Ahead of this weekend’s much anticipated Irish Cup clash against Ards, Watson wants his side to play a free-flowing game in their bid to cause a major upset at this early stage of the competition.

“I try not to put too much pressure on the boys in normal games anyway. We just like the boys to go out and play with confidence and to express themselves,” he said.

“That will be the same on Saturday. We want them to enjoy the game but then games are only enjoyable when you get a positive result.

“We want to do ourselves justice in front of what will hopefully be a good crowd.”