McKnight grabs last minute winner in thriller

Colin Cousins scored from this one. INBL1616-260PB
Colin Cousins scored from this one. INBL1616-260PB

A last minute winner by Matthew McKnight saw Banbridge Rangers take a 4-3 win in a pendulum of a game against Crewe United at Cheney Park on Saturday.

A decent home crowd assembled at Cheney Park for the Mid Ulster Intermediate A League game and for those who were through the gate on time they weren’t dissapointed with four goals being scored by the 13th minute.

Colin Cousins celebrates his second goal. INBL1616-259PB

Colin Cousins celebrates his second goal. INBL1616-259PB

Crewe opened the scoring in the fifth minute through striker Mark McCullough who was gifted his opportunity after a wayward pass across the back line by Neil Clydesdale and was slotted in with a composed finish.

The Gers regrouped almost immediately with midfielder Stephen Teggart scoring an equaliser in the seventh minute with a controlled curling shot from 20 yards into the far bottom corner.

The home side would score twice more within the next six minutes and both would come from talisman and Captain Colin Cousins.

In the 9th minute Clydesdale picked up a clearance from O’Neill deep in his own half and clipped an inch perfect ball over the top for Cousins who lifted the ball over the keeper before controlling his volley into the net whilst under pressure.

Banbridge Rangers v Crewe: �Paul Byrne Photography INBL1616-263PB

Banbridge Rangers v Crewe: �Paul Byrne Photography INBL1616-263PB

Coly Cousins then made it 3-1 with a fantastic headed goal in the 13th minute after peeling off between the two centre halves to cushion his header off the post from a high, curling cross from left back William Frazer.

Mark Wilton went close with a header soon afterwards in a flowing move as the boys in blue started to really turn on the style.

To counter the dominance Crewe dropped one of their forwards into a sweeper role and the five at the back seemed to do the trick and with the away team playing solely on the counter attack and looking to exploit the pace of front man Mark McCullough who had two good opportunities before the break.

After the break Crewe grabbed a goal within thirty seconds to bring the game back to 3-2 with a surging run by McCullough before sliding the ball under Maxwell.

In the 62nd minute the game was levelled with the Crewe lone striker securing his hat trick as he streaked clear of the Rangers backline and lifted the ball over William Maxwell.

Scott Ward tested the Crewe keeper twice from distance within a couple of minutes before making way for Matthew McKnight.

The substitute was to have a telling influence on the outcome of the game as he was able to nod in the winning goal in the final minute of normal time after a deep corner was headed back across goal.

This was a welcomed boost for the Gers who have been in good form over the last month but have some difficult games ahead starting with Valley Rangers away on Tuesday 19th followed by AFC Craigavon away on Saturday and then Hanover at Havelock Park on Tuesday 26th before the much anticipated Marshall Cup Semi Final against Newry City AFC on Saturday 30th April.

BRFC Team: William Maxwell, Jonny O’Neill, Kyle Sergeant, Ryan Gregg, William Maxwell, Jonny Porter (Jeff Brady ‘57), Scott Ward (Matthew McKnight , Mark Wilton, Neil Clydesdale, Stephen Teggart & Colin Cousins (c).