‘We have to bounce back’ says Town boss

Banbridge Town Versus Portstewart in the season opener at Crystal Park, Banbridge.
Banbridge Town Versus Portstewart in the season opener at Crystal Park, Banbridge.

Banbridge Town have a chance to pick up their first positive result of the season tonight (Tuesday) as they host Newingtown YC in the League Cup.

This evening (kick-off 6.45pm), Town are looking to reach the second round for the third season in succession, having beaten Queen’s University in the last two years.

Newington were given a bye in last year’s opening round before going down 3-1 to Crusaders. In their two meetings with Town last season, it was one win apiece as both sides were victorious at their home grounds.

Could Crystal Park then be the key ingredient to Town’s progression tonight?

“We have to respond to Saturday’s defeat,” said a frustrated boss Ryan Watson, who saw his side beaten 2-0 by Portstewart at the weekend. “We have to get ourselves going again and we have a great avenue to do that now in the League Cup.

“It would be nice to get a win and a good solid performance. Newington were beaten on Saturday as well so they’re in the same position as us. Both teams will be looking to get a boost.

“Traditionally, Newington teams are always physically strong and hard to break down. It will be a good test for us and will be a good measure of where we are.

“We’ll be looking to try and get a win and get things going as quickly as possible to set us up for Saturday.”

If Watson’s side can make it through tonight’s Wasp Solutions League Cup first round, they could come up against Premiership opposition as Northern Ireland’s top sides enter the fray in round two of the competition.

He said: “It’s always nice to test ourselves against teams in a higher league in the second round. Last year we did well to beat Queen’s in this game and were then drawn away to Ballinamallard on a bank holiday Monday.

“All we’re focused on is getting a positive result on Tuesday to give us a lift. We’ll have to work hard to get it, take our opportunities and at the other end, stop giving away easy goals.”