Gary Spence, one of the nominees for the Championship 1 November 'Player of the Month' (Picture: Mervyn McClelland/PressEye.com)
Monday, 28 November 2011
THE BELFAST TELEGRAPH are the sponsors of the IFA Championship, and to celebrate they have hooked up with ifachampionship.com to bring you the opportunity to vote for the Fans Championship 1 Player of the Month for November.
Last month the award went to Newry City’s James Hand. James is unlucky not to be a contender again, but we have five players who have all been hugely influential for their clubs, even if their team are fighting relegation rather than battling for the league.
. Don’t forget that the award only considers Championship One games and does not count matches in other competitions.
BEN BROWNE - BANGOR
Influential Bangor midfielder is a strong contender for the November prize despite only playing in two Belfast Telegraph Championship 1 games this month, which shows just hokeith jow important a player he is.
Against Glebe Rangers Browne scored two goals to put Bangor 2-0 up, before being substitute with a back problem. Four days later he played through the pain barrier against Ards in the North Down derby and forced Graeme McKibbin into a great save with a marvellous flick and volley effort.
CONOR DOWNEY – BANBRIDGE TOWN
No, no. Not that Conor Downey. It’s a different one, but he is no less important at his level than his Ballymena United namesake.
The Banbridge Town attacker has played a crucial role in getting his side off the bottom of the table this month, while he might have been on the wrong end of results against Warrenpoint Town and Newry, he scored a crucial hat-trick against Glebe Rangers in a vital 3-0 win for the Town.
KEITH JOHNSTON – WARRENPOINT TOWN
Keith Johnston might not be as well known as some of the other contenders for our award, but if he keeps performing the way he has done in November, that will soon change.
Johnston was on the score-sheet away to Dergview in a 2-2 draw, before he banged in a hat-trick against Banbridge Town, although he failed to find the net against Ballinamallard.
JAMES McGRATH – BALLINAMALLARD UNITED
While top goal-scorer Andy Crawford might be getting all the headlines, Ballinamallard aren’t just at the top of the table because of their attack, their defence has played a crucial role in their success.
The Mallards only conceded one goal this month and that was a penalty, so credit must go to their goalkeeper James McGrath who joined the club from Lisbellaw in the summer.
GARY SPENCE – ARDS
Ards defender Gary Spence has been sensational at the heart of the Ards backline since Niall Currie arrived at the club.
Spence performed well against Harland & Wolff Welders in a 1-1 draw, before helping his team to two clean sheets and two wins against Institute and Bangor. Spence almost got on the score-sheet in the North Down derby, but his header bounced off the Bangor cross-bar.