With almost an hour played and trailing 3-nil, Banbridge Town completed a comeback of epic proportions on Saturday at Crystal Park.
Manager Ryan Watson, who made an inspired substitution at half time, bringing on Neil Watson, who changed the game, said his players ‘pulled the game from the fire’.
Watson has called on his men to shore up their defence ahead of this weekend’s visit to Sport and Leisure, however, he was keen to praise their never-say-die attitude.
“It was some comeback,” Watson said. “The players really pulled the game from the fire.
“The first half we didn’t really turn up and we made the change at half time, which really changed the game for us.
“From 3-0 down it seemed a long long way back but the players showed what great spirit and character they have, as they have done throughout the season.
“We have had two home games, two wins back to back, and six points which is vital.
“After an hour I didn’t see three points coming, but it was great for the supporters, the players were buzzing at the end.
“It sets us up for the weekend,” he added.
Speaking about the impact of substitute Neil Watson, who grabbed two goals and set up the winner, Watson said: “I hoped Neil would have that impact. I knew he would make us more efficient going forward.
“Saturday was probably the first game that we’ve had virtually a full squad to pick from. There are certain games you need that, you need people from the bench to influence the game.
“It’s nice to see we have that quality on the bench,” the manager said.
Looking ahead to Saturday’s match, Watson added: “Sport and Leisure are going really well this season. It’s a really tough place to go to, it’s somewhere you never want to go.
“It can be an intimidating
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place and is one place you have to be on your game. To get anything you have to dig in.
“We can’t go into it and play the way we did on Saturday.
“It was great to see us turn around a game like that, some teams would have been deflated and heads would go down. But the team showed togetherness, they never know when they are beaten.
“It’s just not good for the stress levels,” Watson added, “but it certainly makes the result even sweeter.
“We can’t be doing that again, although it shows if we do go behind we are never beaten, but I’d rather be a couple of goals up than chasing a game.”
Watson added: “It made everybody’s weekend, for the club, the players and the fans.”