Reserves lose out to an in-form Annagh side
THE two in form teams in the Mid Ulster Reserve Championship locked horns at Cheney Park on Saturday afternoon with Annagh United taking all three points against Banbridge Rangers Reserves.
Both teams came into the game having won three of their last four fixtures and played out an entertaining game when the sides met in Portadown early in the season with Annagh scoring several late goals to take the points.
The opening goal arrived somewhat out of the blue after only three minutes when a goal kick from Annagh was headed on to their striker who tried a speculative effort from 30 yards and found the net after a late dip on the ball took it under the crossbar of Rangers keeper Ivon Blevins.
After the goal Rangers slowly found their way into the game and dominated much of the play in the first half without being able to find the net. Robbie Baird and Andy Mallen worked well down the right hand side to carve out a few good openings but a lack of bodies in the box limited the Gers options. Several corners from McAllister almost brought about and equaliser with Wayne Nelson heading one just over the crossbar.
The second half saw Rangers look most likely to take the next goal in the game but Annagh United soaked up the pressure and reduced Rangers to long range efforts with Wayne McAllister seeing a shot come back off the top of the crossbar an hour into the game.
Banbridge Rangers pressed deep into Annagh’s half and were susceptible on the break with Blevins positioning making two saves look a lot more routine than they were.
With eight minutes to go Annagh found the killer second goal when their centre midfilder made a late run and curled his shot in off the far post. Kyle Sergeant should have seen Rangers on the scoresheet when he controlled perfectly inside the box but placed his half volley straight at the keeper when unopposed from eight yards out.
Banbridge Rangers Reserves will now regroup ahead of their Johnston Cup quarter final away to Armagh City on Friday evening at Sherries Field 3G Pitch in Armagh. Armagh are the strongest outfit in the division and Rangers Reserve side will need to be at their best to progress into the last four of the competition.