Town denied as Coagh strike late to cancel out Downey’s opener

Banbridge Town were hoping to build on last week's win over Moneyslane. INBL1537-279PB
Banbridge Town were hoping to build on last week's win over Moneyslane. INBL1537-279PB

Banbridge Town travelled to Coagh Utd on Saturday and doubled their points total for the season so far.

That was thanks to a 1-1 draw after Conor Downey opened the scoring only for Coagh to bag an 85th minute equaliser to leave both sides still looking for their first wins of the campaign.

Conor Downey and Stephen Greene both came back into the starting line-up as Town started the game well, pushing forward at pace and stretching the home defence.

Captain Ryan Moffatt got on the end of a Downey pass but Hassan in the Coagh goal pulled off a good save. Ryan Gourley was having a great game and was involved in every Town attack, with Kinsberry, McGrath and Buchanan all going close to opening the scoring.

On 15 minutes, Hassan raced out of his goal to clear but fluffed his kick as Downey closed him down. Gourley picked up the loose ball but his first time shot was just over.

Goalkeeper Tuda Murphy had little to do for the first 25 minutes until a Coagh attack saw him make a diving save at the feet of Coagh’s Gillespie.

Unfortunately, he picked up an injury in doing so and despite getting treatment on the pitch was unable to continue, being replaced by Stephen Croft.

Coagh were coming more into the game but Greene and Waddell were strong in defence, the latter playing through the pain barrier after picking up an ankle injury last week.

Croft made the first of a number of important saves on 35 minutes. Downey then went close with a flick header from another quality Gourley cross as Town went after the all important first goal.

Town started the second half as they had the first, attacking in numbers and forcing Hassan into two saves in as many minutes. On 55 minutes, Todd was booked for bringing down Moffatt half way into Coagh’s half but Downey’s free-kick went wide.

Two minutes later, Town went in front as Downey picked up a through ball and raced clear of the Coagh defence before slotting the ball beneath the helpless Coagh keeper.

The lead was almost doubled on 65 minutes as a Ferguson cross was headed just wide by McGrath. Coagh weren’t giving up as they looked for the equaliser and won a couple of corners which Croft dealt with comfortably.

With 10 minutes left Downey and Coagh’s Andrew Neill battled for the ball on the right touchline midway into Coagh’s half. Downey went to ground and claimed to be kicked by the Coagh player but, to Town’s dismay, both players were booked.

Coagh continued to put Town under pressure and, with five minutes remaining, Coagh were level.

A sustained attack saw a defensive header fall to Neill, the player who Town thought should have walked 10 minutes earlier, and his low shot from the left edge of the Town’s box beat the diving Croft at the near post.

Coagh went close again in injury time, Croft tipping a free kick over the bar to ensure Town at least earned a draw.

It was a result that suited neither team but Town can consider themselves very unlucky to only get one point from a match in which they were the better team.

TOWN: Murphy (Croft 25), Ferguson, Thompson, Greene, Waddell, Buchanan, Gourley, McGrath, Downey (Hayes 80), Kingsberry, Moffatt. (Unused subs: John Murphy, Gray, Barr).