South Seconds fall just short of upset against strong Banbridge outfit

Action from the game between South Antrim 2 and Kilkeel 2. US1542-518cd  Picture: Cliff Donaldson
Action from the game between South Antrim 2 and Kilkeel 2. US1542-518cd Picture: Cliff Donaldson

South Antrim 2nds made the journey to Havelock Park on Saturday past to play a Banbridge 2nds outfit, who will almost certainly look to mount a serious challenge for the Junior 1 trophy this season.

Taking confidence from recent impressive performances, and with an almost full squad of players available this weekend, the boys started the game well, weathering any initial pressure that was forced on them.

South looked threatening on the counter attack, with John Semple and Jack Redpath pulling the strings in the centre of midfield, holding and distributing the ball when necessary to release the menacing forwards, Neil Wilson and Darren Hutchinson.

Hutchinson, who was dazzling the defence with his trademark twists and turns found himself on the wrong end of a green card for appealing an umpiring decision, which was quickly upgraded to a yellow for apparent dissent.

Throughout the first half both sides created numerous chances, none of which came to anything, and a 0-0 score line at half time was a fair reflection of the first 35 minutes.

The second half started quite sluggishly for the Lisburn lads, and after increased pressure from the Bann attack, the boys found themselves a goal down via a back post deflection from a short corner.

That goal, as disappointing as it was, seemed to spark somewhat of a reaction from South, and before they knew it found themselves back in the game, when James Brown latched on to a mistake from the Banbridge defenders and slotted the ball calmly between the legs of goalkeeper Anderson.

The game continued with several chances for both sides, which notably included some heroic defending from the ever-present centre back Matt Frazer, clearing the ball off the line twice in quick succession.

Throughout the course of the game South felt aggrieved with several umpiring decisions, and, with only a couple of minutes left on the clock, it was one of these which lead to a penalty corner for the home team, and it was through this that the team’s hopes of returning to Lisburn with a deserved point were dashed.

In a near carbon copy of their first, Banbridge scored the winning goal, and with only seconds left the boys were unable to mount any worthwhile attacks.

Final score Banbridge-2 South Antrim-1.

Thanks to Gordie McCandless for travelling to Banbridge to umpiring.