Sam McAllister capped a man of the match display by firing in a last minute winner in Banbridge Town U17B’s thrilling 3-2 victory over Newry on Saturday.
Racing into a 2-0 lead, it was a win Town would have expected, but perhaps less so when Newry equalised with a minute on the clock.
All that did, in the end, was pave the way for McAllister’s winner.
Town almost took a very early lead when a well worked Town corner resulted in a Rhys Jones shot which cannoned on the crossbar with Jake Dennison unlucky not to convert the rebound.
Newry were playing on the break, however Town’s strong defensive line kept the door closed. Jordan Walker and Ryan Sloan played out from the back, while Sam Moore, Sam McAllister and Rhys Jones spread passes for wingers Liam Farrell and Jake Dennison.
Captain Jake Laffin began to find holes in a shaky Newry back line by winning the ball high up the pitch. An eventual opening goal came on 17 minutes when he capitalised on a mistake to tap in.
That was perhaps the wake up Newry needed, as they were almost level from a corner when their header came off the crossbar, leaving Town 1-0 ahead at the break.
Some tactical changes from Banbridge freshened things up with Ryan Jones entering the defence, and Jordan Walker pushing into midfield.
Some great play from Jones was beginning to open up space in the centre as one-two passes worked Town up the pitch. Banbridge got a cushion when midfielder Jordan Walker picked up the ball on the edge of the box and went past two players before hammering in a left footed shot.
Two goals to the good, Town still had a fight on their hands. Newry found a lifeline when their striker managed to find space on the edge of the area and made it 2-1. Newry had the momentum now, and were awarded a penalty with a minute to go which they converted to level the score.
Banbridge were not in the mood to settle for a point though, and went straight on the attack. Josh Dennison took a quick throw down the right which released McAllister who rolled his man, took a touch and rifled in the winning goal to earn his side three points.
MOTM was McAllister for a hard fought performance capped with a goal and a great attitude.