bounce back

Banbridge Town boss Ryan Watson has called on his side to bounce back from their disappointing draw at home to Lurgan Celtic.

The Town failed to beat the Championship Two strugglers at Crystal Park, drawing 1-1 after the visitors had been reduced to ten men with 40 minutes left to play.

Watson now wants his side to kick on from that setback and claim a victory at home to Portstewart on Saturday afternoon (kick-off 2pm).

“It was two points dropped for us against Lurgan Celtic so hopefully we get a response this week,” he told the ‘LEADER.’

“We’ve managed to respond to all of our blips so far this season but this will be another tough game this week.

“It’s an opportunity for us to get back on track and show what we can do but we have to lift ourselves again. We’ll work hard to do that in training. We’re a close-knit team, including the hard-working backroom staff of Barry Taylor, Mark Jerr, Neil Watson and Steven McCreanor. It’s a team effort between us all and we’ll stick together this week.”

Thanks to leaders Armagh City going down 1-0 to second-placed Newington, Town actually clawed themselves a point closer to the summit with last Saturday’s draw, now sitting just three points off top spot.

The Town are unbeaten in five at Crystal Park having won their previous four games before drawing 1-1 with Lurgan Celtic. Opponents Portstewart are currently sitting just one place and one point behind Watson’s side, although they have played one game more. They’re unbeaten in four league games and haven’t lost a Championship fixture on the road so far this term. Boss Watson, therefore, knows it won’t be a matter of just turning up and collecting three points come Saturday afternoon.

“Portstewart have signed a lot of players in the summer and they’ve been playing well,” he said.

“They’ve consistently been in the top six so far this season. It’s going to be another battle for us and we’ll have to match their effort and commitment on Saturday.

“We didn’t perform to our capabilities at all in the first half. It was as poor as we’ve been all season. Our work-rate wasn’t up to what we need. We have to work hard before we can play football, we can’t just expect to turn up and get results. We need to be on our game every week.”