Banbridge Town suffered defeat for the second successive week against a team several places below them in the league table on Saturday, but had only themselves to blame.
They fell to a 2-1 defeat to Queen’s at the Dub, surrendering a 62nd minute lead earned by captain Ryan Moffatt’s finish as both teams finished with 10 men - Town punished further as the free-kick conceded after Stephen Greene’s misdemenour led to the late winner.
Town showed several changes from the previous week’s match with teenage keeper Andrew Cullen making his league debut replacing the unavailable Tuda Murphy.
Stuart Thompson replaced Daniel Devlin at full back and Stuart King returned from suspension in midfield. Conor Downey was also unavailable so Stephen McCavitt made his first league start.
Banbridge had their first opportunity in the 17th minute when McCavitt crossed from the left only for McCartan to fire over.
Banbridge came back and Clydesdale’s perfect right to left cross gave Ryan Moffatt the chance to cut in, but with only the keeper to beat, Town’s captain scuffed his shot.
The second half started in controversial fashion. Queen’s McManus and Town’s McCavitt finished on the floor after an innocuous challenge but became embroiled with each other. Soon, more members of both teams became involved and heated words were exchanged. The situation ended with yellow cards for Queen’s Harper and Town captain Moffatt.
Banbridge eventually took the lead in the 62nd minute when McCavitt destroyed the home defence with his pace and crossed for Moffatt to crash the ball home for his eighth league goal of the season.
Town’s joy was short lived however as within two minutes of the restart, Hanna fired home the equaliser after picking a loose ball following a home corner. Town attacked again and forced a corner that was clearedonly as far as Thompson, lurking on the edge of the box. The full-back connected perfectly with the volley but saw it agonisingly pass inches over the bar.
More was to follow, when the outstanding McCavitt set up McCartan only for the Town’s supporters to be disappointed again with the poor quality of the finishing.
With 15 minutes remaining, McCavitt again outpaced the defence and crossed for Clydesdale to smash the chance over the bar.
Shortly after, Queen’s were reduced to 10 men when Harper received a second yellow card. Banbridge substituted the tiring King for Andrew Wilson but with six minutes of regulation time left, were themselves reduced to ten when referee Mr McMaster took exception to a comment from Stephen Greene. This incident led to a free-kick some 20 yards from Town’s goal and inevitably, Town paid the ultimate price when substitute Tumilty fired home the winner.
TOWN: Cullen; J Wilson; Acheson; Greene; Thompson; McCartan; McCreanor; King (A Wilson 78); Moffatt; Clydesdale; McCavitt.
Unused subs: Dillon; Pedlow; Hayes; Devlin.