Banbridge could hit top spot on Saturday

Banbridge could hit top spot on Saturday afternoon if they can overcome current league-leaders PSNI at Newforge Lane (kick-off 2pm).

Town are just one point off the Championship Two summit and have a game in hand on the front-runners. Three points on Saturday would see them sitting top of the tree on Christmas Day.

“It’s the perverbial six-pointer,” said Town chairman Andrew Cully.

“They have a good playing surface at Newforge and that will suit the way we like to play football. It would be great to get a result and go into Christmas off the back of another victory. League points are the most important thing for us at this stage.”

Banbridge have won nine of their opening 12 league fixtures, netting an impressive 31 goals in the process but Cully is adamant that nobody at his club gets carried away with their blistering start to the league campaign.

“You can’t start thinking about winning anything,” he told the ‘LEADER.’

“If you do, you’re doomed to failure. We’ll just take everything one game at a time and keep our feet on the ground.

“It would be very easy to start aiming high but we’ve got to be realistic and see how far we’ve come. There’s a lot of football still to be played. The league will really take shape over the next few weeks.

“It’s just nice to be involved at this stage because if you’re out of every competition at Christmas, it can be a long season.”

Town will still be without midfielder Adam Pedlow who suffered a blow in the Irish Cup fourth round victory over Rathfriland Rangers. It’s not clear how long he’ll be kept on the sidelines for but Jonny Kernoghan and star-striker Stephen O’Neill could be back in the squad for this Saturday’s top of the table clash. He has been kept out longer than first thought with a throat infection.

“We’ve got a small squad and we’re going to have utilise it over the next few weeks,” said the chairman.

Cully was disappointed with his side’s penalty defeat to Wakehurst in the Intermediate Cup at the weekend but urged Stephen Jones to move on from his spot-kick miss.

He said: “Penalties are a cruel way to go out of any competition. Somebody has to miss and unfortunately it was Stephen, who is usually very reliable from the spot. Hopefully he won’t dwell on this and he’ll pick himself up from it.

“There was nothing in the game and when you keep a clean sheet, it doesn’t really feel like a defeat. Wakehurst probably just shaded it and they hit the woodwork twice. We’ve played a lot better but Ryan (Watson) had to make changes to the team because of injuries.”

Meanwhile, midfielder Conor Downey has been voted Town’s Player of the Month for November, receiving 49% of supporters’ votes on the official website,