Bangor face tough battle for survival
Bangor Ladies, the official ladies section of Bangor Football Club are facing a very tough fight to hold on to their status in the NIWFA Division Two, as injuries and late withdrawals have made this season one to forget for the Clandeboye Road based Seasiders. It has been a summer which had once promised a lot, but in fact has delivered little due to a string of setbacks for ladies manager Andy Craig who has seen his squad struggle particularly over the last month due to holidays, injuries and late withdrawals.
A defeat at the start of the month to a talented Lisburn Ladies was quickly followed by a disappointing loss at the hands of Cappagh Spurs, then to add insult to injury, with so many players unavailable the Seasiders then had to forfeit against Sion Swifts which for the record goes down as yet another defeat - making it three in a row.
Kicking off in bright sunshine in this one, Bangor almost found themselves behind as Moyola started really brightly and were unlucky when a cracking shot which certainly had the beating of McNeilly rattled viciously against the upright.
With Bangor playing with just one up front it was always going to be a case of defending resolutely and relying on hitting the visitors on the counter attack. Magill was thrust right into the middle of the park and was soon putting in a couple of tackles which, if nothing else, let the visitors know that they were certainly in for a hard enough evening.
To be honest, the numerical disadvantage didn’t appear to be too significant as Bangor settled fairly quickly after the early scare, and played with a lot of confidence and vigor matching the visitor’s good opening. With Bangor working hard it was still going to be a long night for the defence in particular, McGarry, McKibbin, Moore and Arthur had started well as Bangor cruised through the first quarter.
The pressure was slowly building though and the visitors were pressing and sneaking more into the game towards half time, the Seasiders somehow snatched a goal against the run of play – a ball cleared first time from the back, broke kindly down the right hand side, Burns showing a quick turn of foot out-paced the last defender and got there marginally before the advancing goalkeeper for the vital touch - the ball slipped through the gap and thankfully crept over the line to give the Seasiders the lead.
This gave the team a much-needed boost at an important point in the game with half time approaching. Moyola somehow having fallen behind, the Seasiders now just dug in and looked to make it through to the break with their lead intact.
Moyola who had plenty of possession had found it very difficult to break through the Bangor defence, McNeilly was sound in goals and with everyone working hard in protecting the lead – the Seasiders turned round still in the ascendancy.
From the start of the second half, the Seasiders would find it hard to keep going, the team had to try and keep the tempo which they had started with. Credit to them, that was exactly what they did – the tempo was good, the attitude was excellent and the work ethic unrelenting.
O’Keefe and Gillies so far, only on the fringe of any first team appearances both found the energy to keep working, along with the selfless front running of Burns kept Bangor in this one.
Moyola finally found a way past McNeilly in the Bangor goal. A free kick out on the left was cleverly knocked square and duly dispatched with considerable venom into the bottom corner giving the Bangor keeper no chance.
Credit to the home side, who despite the setback kept their concentration and stuck boldly to their task – McNeilly made a number of stops and has grown in confidence in the last few games, while the back four were superb and never gave Moyola any real chance to win this one.
The chances kept coming as the visitors upped the ante, although the Seasiders bravely hung-on as the game slipped into the final quarter. With fifteen on the watch Moyola had their best chance, having got in behind the Bangor defence, a ball that had been looped over McNeilly, was spectacularly cleared off the line by the energetic and reliable Moore to keep her side in the game.
On a positive note though, Bangor despite the heavy legs kept going McGarry and Moore being the pick of the bunch with a solid display at the back – although to be fair, the whole team performed exceptionally well in testing conditions.
With the clock ticking Moyola did everything to try to find a winner and McNeilly was kept fairly busy as the visitors forced a number of corners again the defending was excellent and Bangor survived the late surge by the visitors to hold on to take a point which never looked likely at the start of the evening.
CONTACT BANGOR LADIES FOOTBALL CLUB - email email@example.com