Recent games between Tobermore and Banbridge have been high scoring affairs with a total of 20 goals scored in the previous three meetings.
The County Down men were keen to avoid a repeat of their last visit to Fortwilliam Park when their hosts put eight past them without reply.
The game started at a good pace and Tobermore’s Trevor Parkhill almost put his side ahead with less than five minutes on the clock, but his shot was deflected for a corner.
The Banbridge defence was having trouble dealing with Tobermore’s constant pressure and, after a number of quick corners in succession, it paid off in the 14th minute when Gary Keane gave Town keeper Stephen Croft no chance with a fine close range finish.
Banbridge had plenty of possession in the first half but just couldn’t get things going up front that left home keeper Matty McGraw a spectator for long periods.
Parkhill had another great chance saved by Croft at the start of the second half and then on 55 minutes Banbridge got a lifeline when a wicked deflection from Matthew McCartan’s shot beat McGraw to level proceedings.
The goal lifted Banbridge and it was they who now looked the more dangerous side and very likely to take the spoils with the front three of Smith, Kingsbury and Kine giving the home defence plenty to do.
With 25 minutes to go Tobermore replaced Keane and Duffin with Deane and Stewart and the fresh legs seemed to swing things back in favor of the home side and with seven minutes to go the hard working Parkhill got his goal when he cut in from the right, beat his marker, and Croft at the second attempt, to put the home side in front again.
The visitors weren’t giving up without a fight and McGraw had to be at his best to prevent them snatching a share of the spoils but super sub Stewart made sure of all three points deep into injury time when he expertly volleyed home Deane’s perfect cross from the edge of the box for what many agreed was as good a goal scored at Fortwilliam Park for many seasons.and a fitting end to a good game.
Tobermore United: M. McGraw, N. Murray, M, Harkness, P. Keane, C. Kearns, R. Devine, P. Duffin, R. Marks, R. Winton, T. Parkhill. Subs: C. McClarnon, R. Twist, D. Stewart, C. Deane, M. Curtis, S. McGuckin
The deserved victory cemented Tobermore’s third place in the league but they will have another stern test this Saturday when second placed PSNI are the visitors at 3pm and, with Tobermore losing twice to the them already this season, they will be keen to prevent a third loss.
Tobermore’s popular Mini Soccer sessions continue this Saturday morning.
As usual the fun sessions begin at 10am sharp (registration at 9.45am) until 11am in Maghera Leisure Centre and is open to all boys and girls of primary school age.
Players should turn up kitted out ready to play indoors with trainers and shin guards.
If you have any questions or need more information please contact Sean on 0793 491 7309 or firstname.lastname@example.org.