Sports

Feeney's goal 'best to be seen this season' and it secures quarter final spot

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

BANBRIDGE Rangers manager Lee Feeney came off the bench last Saturday (23 September) with five minutes to go against Annagh United and scored one of the best goals anyone will witness this season.

Annagh United ...2
Banbridge Rangers ...3

An overhead kick into the very top corner from the former Linfield and Glasgow Rangers striker showed that class is permanent, as he sent his Banbridge Rangers team into the quarter finals of the Bob Radcliffe Cup.

Banbridge Rangers were also a man less against their NIFL opponents for much of the second half, but managed to go in front twice during this period and probably should have scored a few more in a confident performance against higher league opposition.

A slow enough opening half saw Colin Cunningham break the deadlock on the half hour mark for Banbridge Rangers, when he controlled a throw in from Russell Hilland before turning and sending his half volley into the near top corner.

Annagh replied with an equaliser minutes before the break, scoring directly from a corner kick that looked to be heading towards the back post but then caught a gust of wind which deceived everyone.

Another similar corner in stoppage time for Annagh at the end of the half saw the ball clip the post but for the home side that was as good as it was to get all afternoon.

In the second period the Intermediate A team lifted a gear and started to dominate possession with a purpose helped by the introduction of Andy Mallen, who tried on several occasions to catch the United 'keeper off his line.

In the 58th minute Banbridge Rangers should have scored a second through a swift counterattack.

Colin Cousins sent an early ball to Cunningham who was joined in the opposition half by fellow striker, Stuart Mallen and only one covering defender who cynically uprooted Cunningham on the edge of the box.

The referee brandished only a yellow card for a clear goalscoring opportunity being prevented.

To make matters worse he brandished a straight red card 10 minutes later to Banbridge Rangers defender Chris Chambers, who denied a goalscoring opportunity for Annagh when he tried to intercept a through ball but missed and his trailing arm stopped the flow of the ball.

A hugely inconsistent approach but one that seemed to galvanise the away team and their support for the remainder of the match.

A corner in the 80th minute for Banbridge Rangers saw them go in front with the ball being parried at the front post with Andy Mallen reacting quickest to prod the ball home.

The lead lasted only four minutes as Annagh United forward Shea Campbell controlled a through ball on his chest, and without having to break stride he went high past goalkeeper Bryan McMullan.

After the goal the gaffer introduced himself to the game as it looked more and more like going into two periods of extra time and an experienced head would be required.

Well, at least that's what everyone else inside the ground thought, but Lee Feeney had other ideas.

As the game rolled into the final minute a throw in was headed upwards by an Annagh United defender and as the ball dropped, Feeney made up several yards before acrobatically unleashing a phenomenal strike into the very top corner and stood up as if it was a training ground routine.

A goal worthy to win any game and after scoring three unbelievable goals last season, Feeney proved again that he truly is the golden child of Northern Irish football.

The draw for the quarter finals will take place next week for the final eight teams left in the Bob Radcliffe, but before that the Gers turn their attention to the Marshall Cup with Donacloney coming to Cheney Park this Saturday for a 2pm kick off.

Team: Bryan McMullan, Russell Hilland, Chris Chambers, Ross Elliott, Jeff Brady (c), Colin Cousins, Scott Ward, Nathan Baird, Matthew Holloway, Stuart Mallen and Colin Cunningham.

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