It was a day to be ‘proud’ to be Banbridge Town.
That’s how manager Ryan Watson felt anyway, as his club enjoyed hosting Premiership side Carrick Rangers in the fifth round of the Irish Cup.
“There was a tinge of disappointment in the end that we didn’t give them a better game but overall, it was a brilliant day for the club,” he told the ‘LEADER.’ “The chairman and the committee must take a lot of credit for the day they put on and it’s something that we would like to see again in the future.
“So many people from around the club helped out and played their part - from the bar staff to the kids leading the teams out. I was proud to be involved with the club on Saturday.”
Early goals at the start of each half proved Town’s undoing as they discovered again the perils of even a momentary lapse against top flight opposition.
Watson said: “It was just a pity we couldn’t do it on the pitch. The players all have everything they had and worked really hard. We just didn’t bring our A game.
“The timing of the goals killed us. Our plan was to stay in the game until half-time and give ourselves something to build on so to go behind so early on was a big set-back.
“We recovered from that and played some decent football that just broke down once we got to the area so we didn’t create too much in front of goal.
“Coming in at 1-0 wasn’t too disappointing. We wanted to get through the first 10 or 15 minutes and then really have a go at them but again we didn’t do that. It was the perfect scenario for them to kill us with that second goal. We created a few chances afetr that and went more attacking with the subs but we still didn’t really threaten their keeper.
“To get through to that round of the Cup and make it financially rewarding for the club was always the aim though. We enjoyed the experience but now it’s back to the bread and butter of the league.”
And Cup football still isn’t over for the season, as Town travel to take on Amateur League Premier Division side Nortel in the last 16 of the Intermediate Cup on Saturday 23rd January.