League boost but priority is still to protect position

Dean Smith. Pic by PressEye Ltd.
Dean Smith. Pic by PressEye Ltd.

Annagh United manager Dean Smith has issued a warning for his players to protect a top-two finish before turning attention to any title charge.

United suffered a weekend setback with defeat by 4-0 away to NIFL Championship Two leaders Lurgan Celtic.

The clash between the division’s two leading sides appeared a significant blow to Annagh’s championship dreams but Celtic subsequently suffered a midweek defeat by Newington YC to keep the gap at just three points.

Each team is faced with a three-game run before Annagh host Celtic on the final day of the campaign.

Despite the boost in confidence generated by Celtic’s surprise result, Smith is determined to maintain the focus on the long-standing goal of a spot inside the top-two placings.

“We cannot spend our time worrying about other clubs or events beyond what we control,” said Smith. “Certainly it would be foolish to turn the focus on Lurgan Celtic above us and ignore the teams battling behind us in search of second.

We cannot spend our time worrying about other clubs or events beyond what we control

Dean Smith

“Saturday at Lurgan Celtic was a poor performance from our viewpoint and we conceded poor goals.

“I stated before the match that the result would not make or break our season but I still expected a more competitive display.

“We had chances at 1-0 and 2-0 but Celtic were certainly the better side on the day.

“The midweek defeat for Celtic may have handed us all a lift off the back of our result but now the focus must turn to Banbridge Town this weekend.

“It was an unexpected boost but we still have to focus only on our own games and just try to accumulate as many points as possible.

“We have Banbridge at Tandragee Road then visit Sport and Leisure Swifts on Tuesday.”

Kick-off tomorrow (Saturday) will be 3 o’clock.