‘Slane fail to hold on to win
Wednesday, 15 March 2017
ON SATURDAY the first team travelled to Banbridge to take on rivals Banbridge Rangers in the league and came within three minutes of claiming all the points in front of a bumper 300 plus crowd.
The game got underway at a frantic pace as expected after a poor showing from the Slane a fortnight ago in the Marshal Cup. Rangers got an early corner and Gregg headed over from six yards out.
At the other end Slane opened the scoring when a good build up down the left from Kingsmore and Withers saw the latter cross into the box where Reese reacted quickest to poke home from inside the six yard box, 0-1.
Midway through the first half Rangers were awarded a strange free kick ten yards outside the Moneyslane box as Ervine headed clear, Ward came into the side of him and won a free kick in a dangerous position.
Chambers fired the free over Crawford's crossbar. On the half hour mark Kingsmore won a corner after breaking down the left but Baird was on hand to clear behind for a corner kick. Kernaghan drilled a corner low to the front post where Hainon got a flick before his marker and then found a gap at the front post to double Moneyslane's lead, which was fully deserved at this point in the game, 0-2.
On 35 minutes Moneyslane couldn't believe Harron was blew up for a foul on Chambers as it looked like the the Rangers centre half came right through the back of the Moneyslane midfielder.
The referee let the free kick be taken a good 15 yards forward from where the foul was adjudged to have taken place. Quick thinking from Chambers saw him slide Feeney in on goal and he made no mistake finding the bottom corner of the Slane net. 1-2
With Moneyslane seething at this goal, the home side drew level only two minutes later when a poor back pass from Shilliday saw Crawford clear the ball to the feet of Stuarty Mallen who rounded the keeper and stroked the ball into the empty net for a disastrous goal for boys to concede.
Moneyslane reacted well with Ringland winning the ball back in midfield before whipping a ball into the back post where Withers powered a header goal but the hosts keeper was on hand to pluck it out of the air as it was looking like going in at the near post.
Crawford made amends for his mistake moments later when he an excellent save down to his left after Mallen got the shot away at the edge of the box. Moneyslane were having the best of the first half and again showed great character to go in front on the day again after a Kernaghan free kick was headed back across goal from Chambers but Reese was quickest to react to volley home from six yards out much to the delight of the large Moneyslane support. 2-3
The referee blew for half time in what was a very action packed first half of football.
Half-time: Banbridge Rangers 2-3 Moneyslane
In the opening ten minutes of the second half both sides had half chances. Firstly Mallen dragged a shot wide on Moneyslane goal and Withers similarily at the other end, fired wide of the right hand upright after being played in by a great Harron pass.
The second big turning point in the game came when Moneyslane were on the break. Reese and Kingsmore were racing through on Rangers goal and with only one defender back, the referee blew his whistle to speak to a Rangers player - an absolutely terrible bit of officiating as it looked like Slane were looking likely to add to their scoring!
With fifteen minutes remaining manager Thornton was forced into two changes with Reese and Ferguson having to be replaced by Adair and Kidd as both players picked up injuries. The game was coming into the final ten minutes and the hosts were throwing everything at the Slane defence.
They had a penalty claim turned down for handball from a Spence shot and again at the other end Kingsmore had got in behind the rangers rearguard, only for the referee to stop play again to speak to a rangers player very poor decisions at critical moments in the game. Banbridge Rangers got the goal their pressure deserved with only minutes remaining to full time.
A loose ball on the edge of the box was volleyed home by Andy Mallen to make the scores level yet again in this entertaining derby. 3-3
The referee blew for full time and both teams had to settle for a point each inter second league derby match of the season.
Full time: Banbridge Rangers 3-3 Moneyslane
Manager Thornton spoke after the match.
“Today (Saturday) we came back to a ground where we had a bad experience a couple of weeks ago.
“We went into the game with my two centre halves missing through injury and suspension so we had to reshuffle the pack and that saw Ervine go from striker to centre half.
“I think on the day both teams gave everything for their clubs and I'm sure the fans witnessed it.
“The referee had a very hard day with lots of big calls to make. Both sides had calls for penalty kicks and we were unfortunate to be blew up twice whilst going through on goal so he could talk to a player but that's football.
“That's the sixth local derby match in the league we have played this season and we have won five and drew one so it's a great return from the boys. I'd like to give a special mention to the Moneyslane supporters who got behind the team yet again, they're a real credit to this great club."
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