First defeat of the season for Rangers Swifts

BANBRIDGE Rangers Swifts lost their first league game off the season on Saturday at Dromore Liesure Centre against a well organised Lurgan Town side who were clinical in front off goal and made Rangers third string pay for some lapses in concentration at the back.

It took Rangers a while to match Lurgan Town who started the game in a 3-5-2 formation which gave them an extra man in midfield to dictate the play.

Neither side carved out any clear cut chances until the 30 minutes mark when John McCahon curled a free kick off the crossbar from 20 yards out..

Lurgan Town took the lead soon after with a kick counter attack and held onto their lead into the interval despite pressure from Rangers who got to the byline on several occasions with no end product.

The second half started with Banbridge Rangers switching to three front men who continued to press every ball with McGladdery and Wilson running at the back line at every opportunity.

Ten minutes into the half the referee awarded a penalty for handball which was dispatched by McCahon down the middle to bring Rangers level in the game.

A series of defensive errors saw three players in the Rangers leave the ball for each other to clear and their miscommunication allowed the young Lurgan Town striker the opportunity to nip in and slot past Parkes to restore their lead.

The equalising goal for Rangers arrived with 20 minutes to go with a hint off fortune involved as the keeper spilled a routine pick up allowing Chrissy McGladdery the chance to poke the ball to the right where McCahon was left with the easiest off tap ins.

Banbridge Rangers had the wind in their sails with Neil Wilson rattling the crossbar with a thunderous effort from the edge off the box.

Lurgan Town were looking to hold onto the draw by holding the ball at the corner flag from as early as the 81st minute and taking an eternity at every set piece to disrupt the flow off the game.

With five minutes left however Rangers were caught with too many men in attack and a long clearance was mistimed by the last defender McAllister and Lurgan Town scored to make it 3-2 against the run off play and manage to hold onto all three points in a very close encounter.