Sports

Rangers maintain unbeaten record against Seapatrick

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

BANBRIDGE Rangers had their shortest journey of the season when they made their way to Havelock Park on Saturday past and were aiming to keep up an impressive record of never being beaten by their rivals from Seapatrick in any competition.

Seapatrick ...1
Banbridge Rangers ...3

Seapatrick manager, Ian McDowell was taking charge of his first derby game, as was Banbridge Rangers' manager Lee Feeney.

McDowell opted for experience bringing in Brian Adair and Glenn Waddell to his side, whilst Feeney opted for youth with 17-year-old Matthew Holloway justifying his second start in a row with a superb brace of goals in the first half and 18-year-old Stephen Teggart, who played a vital role in all three goals.

It was the Village side who had the better of the opening quarter of an hour with neither side being allowed time to settle on the ball. Shots from Dean Lennon and Tony Graham threatened the Rangers net early on followed by two clear goalscoring opportunities, which were expertly saved by Ryan McConville who was making his debut between the sticks for Banbridge Rangers.

As Banbridge Rangers grew into the game, the pendulum was starting to swing when a shot from Teggart, which looked to be going wide, was turned in by an outstretched leg of Matthew Holloway to give Banbridge Rangers the lead in the 22nd minute.

Tricky winger Holloway now had the confidence to take the game to Seapatrick and drew four fouls more than worthy of bookings over the next 10 minutes as he terrorised the Village back line.

With five minutes to go until the half time whistle, a corner routine by Teggart for Banbridge Rangers saw a host of bodies rush into the six yard box, which allowed Jeff Brady the room to fire a low shot into the box. As the ball headed towards goal and with McGrath about to save, Holloway stepped in front of the ball and flicked into the far bottom corner to the delight of the away supporters.

After the interval the game sprung to life within minutes after Rangers' centre half, Nathan Baird intercepted a pass deep in his own half and drove forward 50 yards before slipping Dean Spence in on goal, but the young forward pulled his shot wide of the far post.

Baird then had to clear a header off the line two minutes later, whilst there was a chance created on the counter by Jeff Brady who fed Spence into a similar position but when striking towards the near post this time he could only find the side netting.

The second half theme of missing clear chances continued for both teams as Seapatrick forward, Andrew McLarty fluffed his shot when free on goal just before the hour mark, followed by Teggart who had two good chances saved by McGrath.

The first was a reaction save after Teggart diverted a Brady free kick goalwards followed by a one-on-one where Teggart rounded McGrath but the angle was too acute to finish.

Changes were rung by both managers in order to control the final 20 minutes. Seapatrick drew a goal back in the 84th minute after a swift counterattack which could have created a panic at the back for the Gers to hold onto the win.

With Seapatrick unable to create anything more, it was left up to Jonny Porter to seal the three points in the 90th minute for Banbridge Rangers after Teggart streaked down the left wing and crossed low for Porter to hammer home the winner at the back post.

This was Banbridge Rangers' third win on the trot and the fourth unbeaten, whilst Seapatrick are almost at the halfway mark in their season with only a solitary point to show for their efforts.

Up next for Banbridge Rangers is a trip to Lisburn to take on Ballymacash whilst Seapatrick are also on the road with another difficult task against Tandragee Rovers.

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