LAST Saturday saw Bann Fourths entertain Bangor in what was the top game in Junior Three with first taking on second and both teams hoping to edge closer to the automatic promotion stage.
A win for runaway leaders Bangor would see them almost guarantee themselves the step up and the league title while a win for the home side would see them edge closer to Bangor and further away from the chasing pack.
Bann were without the experience of Martin, McKnight, Shannon and Smyth but stand in captain Neil Madeley was still able to field a strong enough side to give the league leaders a run from their money.
Bangor as befits the league leaders started off on the front foot and it took the home side 10 minutes before they settled down.
Justin Glass in the home goal provided a glimpse of things to come when he made several smart stops to deny the visitors.
Slowly the home side began to find their feet and prompted by Scott, Dean, and Matthews they began to ask questions of the Bangor defence.
The locals were unlucky after 20 minutes not to open the scoring when a Bann attack resulted in a goalmouth scramble but the ball did not fall to a Bann attacker and the opportunity went begging.
Bangor again were always dangerous on the break with their right sided attack proving a handful for the Bann defence. Glass again made several smart saves from short corners but the Bann defence stood firm albeit with a slice of luck at times.
The first half ended a cagey affair with both sides very conscious of what was at stake. Bann used the break to re-evaluate their
tactics in attempt to stem the source of the Bangor attacks. The visitors on the other hand were plotting on how to unhinge the home defence. The second half was to prove a carbon copy of the first with Bangor shading the number of chances but Glass again was in imperious form while Bann always looked as if they could sneak a goal.
With 10 minutes left on the clock Bann enjoyed their best spell of the game and forced several short corners in quick succession but a combination of poor decision making and good defending saw the opportunities go a begging.
Next up for Bann is their final home game of the season against Lisnagarvey next Saturday and a revenge win for the locals would see them go on the road for their last two games with promotion very much in their own hands.