Very disappointing start to the season for Lisburn League 04s. The coaches were expecting a big response from a disastrous last pre season friendly. We were left wanting come the final whistle. The game started scrappy with Banbridge Town playing the better football working patterns in the middle of the park with town chasing shadows and losing positional discipline for periods of time. The high intensity the boys have been showing in training has not been coming through in their games coming second to most balls. Town were forced to make a change early on losing right back Adam Vennard with a back injury. This was a big loss to Town missing Adam’s strength at the back as Banbridge began making troublesome runs deep down our right hand side. Banbridge were most definitely the hungrier of the teams and found themselves 3 goals to the good midway through the first half. Town dragged themselves back into the game with about 10 minutes to half time when Kurtis White played a wonderful pass through to Jake Turner who created space for himself with a strong run and made no mistake when one on one with the keeper to score arguably the best goal of the game.
Half time came and the coaches hoped it would be a chance for the boys to re-focus and really take it to Banbridge in the second half. The need to keep shape and focus was addressed, but within 5 minutes of the restart things were as bad as ever when some very slack defending allowed Banbridge to cut clean through and stretch the lead. Town lost new signing, goalkeeper, Jake Edgar soon after when he hurt his toes in a challenge with a Banbridge striker. Cameron Mackay put the gloves on for the rest of the match and despite some great work was let down time and time again by the boys in front of him. At 6-1 to Banbridge, Town won a penalty for a deliberate handball in the box and James Maguire finished well in the top corner to make it 6-2. Unfortunately it didn’t spur the boys on and Banbridge went on to continue the rout with another 2 goals to finish the game as 8-2 winners.
Today’s Referee made some poor decisions by not making any decisions including a second stonewall penalty for Town, but no excuses for the final outcome. Town played well below par for the second week on the trot. From a coaches point of view very disappointing considering the hard work we are seeing in training. Only a few players came out of today with pass marks and special mention to Bobby Jones who battled well, Jake Turner who always looked dangerous and created chances and Kurtis White who was the Town man of the match this week always battling, always looking to be involved going forward and back, we need all 11 players to be putting in the effort that Kurtis put in today. Town showed in small spells that they could match the opposition but these periods came and went far to quickly.Unless there is a change in match day attitude this is going to be a very long season.
Team: Jake Edgar, Adam Vennard, Ben Cuthbert, Luke Hammond, James Maguire (1 Pen), Kurtis White, Aidan Cassidy, Jake Turner (1), Bobby Jones, Josh Johnston, Cameron Mackay, Kyle White, Soufian Mouhsine