Captain Close inspires New-Bridge U15 team to reach South Down League Final
Lee Close drove home a blistering winner two minutes from the end to see New-Bridge Integrated College beat Dromore 3-2 in the semi-final of the South Down League Play-offs.
New-Bridge had started comfortably with good phases of early passing but were unable to penetrate the Dromore defence. On fourteen minutes they saw themselves go 1-0 down when defender Lee Richardson was ruled to have obstructed a Dromore forward running onto the ball in the penalty box.
The remainder of the first half saw New-Bridge to have a large majority of possession but were unable to get the ball into threatening positions due to the strong wind which dominated the first half.
The second half saw New-Bridge show more composure and build a series of attacks and chances from free kicks and corners. It was from a free kick within the Dromore half by Lee Close that saw Jordan Hayes stoop down low to head in an equaliser.
New-Bridge continued to push attempting to make sustained pressure count but resulted in a Dromore counter attack allowing them to take the lead 2-1 early in the second half.
Going behind for a second time further inspired New-Bridge to make more passes count and maintain better possession of the football. It was from a good passing move that allowed Aaron Thompson to get behind the defence down the inside channel to pass across the goal for Callum Barnes to score the equaliser.
Several other chances came and went for New-Bridge and some excellent defending from Nathan Weir and Gary McConville prevented Dromore from taking the lead for a third time.
Lee Close had hit a shot from thirty yards that allowed him to gauge his range for what proved to be the winner. Close collected the ball inside the Dromore half and beat two players before driving the ball into the back of the net from twenty five yards to send his team into the final.
New-Bridge now await the winners of Banbridge High v Banbridge Academy.