BANBRIDGE Ladies commenced their new season with a home tie against Blackieville on Thursday evening.
The home side managed to score five but went down to a well organised opposition 3-4 with two own goals for the home team making the difference. A great battle was witnessed by a good attendance of supporters for both teams.
Katie Lennon opened the scoring for the home team with a clever chip from the edge of the box after 10 minutes. Banbridge continued to press well and a spectacular free kick from Becky Napier saw a Blackieville defender being very brave to narrowly deflect the ball just wide.
The opposition then began to gather momentum and on 25 minutes were rewarded when their centre half shot strongly from 30 yards to equalise.
It really was game on from then as both teams were now wide awake. Jemma Jackson received a clever ball from Lauren Redpath wide on the right wing and proceeded to beat two defenders and, after working the ball onto her left foot, shot strongly to beat the keeper at her near post on the half hour mark.
Almost immediately though Blackieville equalised from a well delivered free kick into the home box resulting in an unlucky rebound from an attempted clearance finding its way into the net.
Banbridge were not to be outdone at this stage and on 35 minutes Napier scored the goal of the match which saw a rasping shot fly into the top corner before the opposition keeper could react, defenders this time ducking out of its way.
The scoring was now coming thick and fast from both teams who were showing great determination and effort. But it was again the opposition’s turn after the home team failed to clear and the Blackieville forward shot well to evade keeper Lynn Johnson’s best effort to stop it.
The home team’s defence were now getting to know each other in this match and were now working as a unit. They were unfortunate to again concede a second own goal from a corner kick delivered to the near post on 65 minutes.
The home team were not yet done and continued to seek out an equalizer in wave after wave of attack against the travellers who by now were content to defend their lead. The opposition keeper was forced into making several great saves.
Almost on the final whistle Lauren Redpath spun on the edge of the box and shot well but saw the ball narrowly pushed around the post.
It was just not to be for the home side. Next up for the Ladies is another tie, this time against Larne on Thursday.
The coaching staff are confident that their team is growing stronger and were indeed very unfortunate to lose this match, praising all of the team.
Team: L Johnson, C McCrum, A Cull, H Hopkins, R Ervine, K Lennon, L Repath, R Napier, J Jackson, M Spence, T Brush. Subs: R Loughlin (46mins), E McCrea, C Orr.