Moffett comes to the four in comfortable Banbridge victory

Josh Moffett netted four goals as league-leaders Banbridge smashed basement side NICS 6-0 in an Ulster Premier League fixture at Havelock Park.

Bann were still without several first team players including Drew Carlisle and Owen Magee but they welcomed back Phillip Brown and Fraser Mills to the team after

being absent for several weeks.

Bann started the game in control with NICS offering very little going forward. In the early minutes Banbridge had a plethora of chances and were unlucky not to take the lead. Bann had several short corners in the opening exchanges of the game with Stephen Dowds unfortunate not to hit the target on a couple of occasions. Bann kept pressing for an opener and soon had it after some great movement in the circle by Simon Magowan. His ball was played across the circle for Josh Moffett who slotted the ball past the keeper.

NICS had their best spell of the game soon after but were denied after a smart save from Gareth Lennox. Bann then doubled their lead half way through the first half, a great piece of skill by Scott Forbes in the circle beating two men before putting a slick reverse stick cross which Stephen Dowds was on hand to deflect into the net. Bann soon made it three, this time from a short corner variation with Josh Moffett deflecting home from close range.

It was four within two minutes. Another short corner produced a carbon copy of the third goal with Moffett grabbing his hat-trick. Banbridge were exerting their dominance on the game by creating several chances on goal but were denied by several decent saves from the NICS keeper. Bann were unlucky not to go five ahead after a great piece of hockey with Colin Dowds breaking free well down the right hand side, his ball found Hugh McShane who in turn fed Eugene Magee but the midfielder’s shot went high over the bar. Bann did get their fifth minutes later, this time Bruce McCandless picked out Simon Magowan whose shot was deflected in at the back post by, guess who? Josh Moffett.

Bann continued to dominate in the second half without being caused any real trouble in their own circle. Matthew Bell and Phillip Brown controlled matters from the back, patiently passing the ball whilst looking for an opening further up the pitch. Bann kept mustering chances but on several occasions their finishing was lacking.

Banbridge did get their sixth half way through the second half, again it was through a short corner, Eugene Magee this time rifling a short corner past the NICS goalkeeper. Banbridge continued to pass the ball well at times but were frustrating in the final third of the pitch as they failed to finish the chances that were created. NICS tried to play on the counter for much of the game but unfortunately got nothing out of the Bann back four who remained solid throughout. Banbridge saw the game out, winning by a smashing 6-0 score-line.

Banbridge travel to Shaws Bridge next week hoping to maintain their winning start to their league campaign.