Banbridge Town are up to seventh in the Premier Intermediate League after thrashing Moyola Park 4-0 on Saturday.
Before the game, Crystal Park joined in a minute’s applause as a mark of respect to the late Annesley Renshaw - a former supporter and sponsor of Banbridge Town FC who sadly passed away earlier in the week.
Prior to Saturday’s match, Moyola had beaten Town in five of the last six league meetings. This time however, it was the hosts who provided all the goal scoring fireworks.
Town showed two defensive changes from last week’s cup defeat against Bangor with two Premier Intermediate debutants in the shape of keeper Andrew Cullen, who replaced the honeymooning Stephen Cairnduff and summer signing Ross Black, who has finally recovered from a long term injury, replacing the injured Stuart Thompson, who was himself nursing a minor niggle.
Anderson’s cross from the right eluded everyone except centre back Stephen Greene, who had the simplest of tasks from close range.
It wasn’t until the 23rd minute that the visitors burst into life but Mullen’s shot from a right wing cross screwed just wide.
Town responded with an attack of their own which brought frantic claims for a penalty which were not only denied but brought about a yellow card for King due to over exuberant protests.
Moyola Park made a better fist of the re-start but failed to carve out any clear chances. Rafferty and Jason Paul looked lively but Town’s defence, well marshalled by yet another outstanding performance from Stuart Acheson, were equal to anything the visitors had to offer.
However, Town soon extended their lead from the spot. Downey controlled a cross field pass and moved the ball to Moffatt. The skipper’s first time pass found Black inside the box and as the full back tried to turn, he was upended. Moffatt sent visiting keeper Marcian Farniok the wrong way with the penalty.
Worse was to come for the visitors when within a minute, Acheson’s powerful defensive header sailed over Moyola’s midfield. Clydesdale outpaced the defenders and was away celebrating before his lob over the stranded Farniok had crossed the line for Town’s third goal.
Moyola managed to rattle Cullen’s crossbar, but Town introduced two attacking substitutes in Ashley Gregg and Andrew Wilson as they refused to sit back.
With two minutes of normal time left, they bagged a bizarre fourth goal. As Farniok attempted to play himself out of trouble following as back pass, Clydesdale hunted him down and the keeper’s attempted clearance rebounded off the striker and from the acutest of angles, rolled over the line and into an empty net.
Clydesdale was immediately substituted to allow Stephen McKavitt the opportunity to make his ;eague debut for the last few remaining minutes.
Banbridge Town would like to thank the Red Star Bar (Banbridge) for their generous match sponsorship.
TOWN: Cullen; J.Wilson; Acheson; Green; Black; Anderson; McCartan; King (sub A.Wilson 83); Moffett; Clydesdale (sub McKavitt 89); Downey (sub Gregg 77). Unused subs: Hayes, Thompson.