Banbridge Town U17 Bs went down 3-2 to Lisburn Distillery in the Lisburn League on Saturday.
Hosts Distillery were well organised straight from the off, with their 3-5-2 system making it hard for either side to control the ball in midfield.
Banbridge battled hard with captain Jake Laffin rallying his troops who were getting plenty of joy on the break, with Liam Farrell tormenting the Distillery right back.
The centre-back pairing of Ryan Sloan and Jordan Walker kept Distillery at bay as they won every challenge. Rhys Jones operated behind Sam McAllister, giving the striker plenty to feed off.
Distillery changed their game plan and began playing a wide game, however Jake Dermott was solid at left back, while Josh Dennison was equal measure for his man down the Town right.
Banbridge had their fair share of chances, with Sam McAllister running through only for the Distillery keeper to deny him the game’s opening goal. A succession of Banbridge corner-kicks threatened to open the scoring but Distillery were defending resolutely.
Distillery won a free-kick down the Banbridge rightand they whipped it into the near post with their striker edging ahead to score with their first real opportunity of the game.
Distillery had the bit between their teeth and had a second right on the half-time whistle after a strike was well saved by keeper Jordan Moore, only for the ball to fall to a Distillery player’s feet.
The second half was a great spectacle of football. Banbridge pushed forward early on but their efforts were cut out at the last minute on more than one occassion.
Town were using the width of the pitch well, however when Distillery got on the attack they kept the ball high up the pitch.
Jake Laffin, Rhys Jones and Sam Moore were playing some great passes out wide for willing runners Liam Farrell and Jonny Rodgers while Sam McAllister battled hard for another opportunity.
Jones had an effort from the edge of the area well blocked, while Town were mounting more pressure. A sucker punch came though when an ambitious effort from a Distillery midfielder took a wicked deflection and ended up in the Town net despite a good recovery from keeper Jordan Moore.
Town weren’t getting a shred of luck, with a scoreline which didn’t tell half the story of the game.
Town finally got a goal when Sam Moore won a free-kick on the half way line, which Jordan Walker put right into the danger area. Rhys Jones contested the ball and the resulting goalmouth scramble saw Sam McAllister claw a goal back.
However, time was not on the Town’s side and the game finished 3-1, a harsh result after a much improved performance from Banbridge.
This week’s MOTM was Liam Farrell, whose energy, work-rate and hunger summed up Town’s afternoon.