Belfast Telegraph Championship round-up, April 18
All the latest from Championship One and Two:
Donegal Celtic 0 Carrick Rangers 1
Carrick Rangers’ league title tilt remains very much on track after Saturday’s nervy 1-0 victory at Donegal Celtic. Young defender Ryan Arthur scored the only goal of the game with a header after a goalmouth scramble on 54 minutes. It was the former Cliftonville Olympic captain’s third goal for the club since he signed for the Taylor’s Avenue outfit in January. The Gers remain top of Championship One with two games left to play - the first of which is on Tuesday evening away to PSNI. Their final game is at home next Saturday, April 25 against the already-relegated Dundela, and if Carrick are to take the title this season, they must win these last two games, as both Ards and Bangor are too close for comfort and any slip-ups could cost the Taylor’s Avenue men dear.
Bangor 2 Armagh City 0
Bangor opened the scoring on 13 minutes when Dean Youle's long throw-in on the right found Ethan Boylan, and the striker gave Armagh keeper Eoin Donaghy no chance with a looping left foot shot from 21 yards into the left hand bottom corner of the net. Armagh were reduced to 10 men in the 20th minute after last defender Luke Grimley fouled Ethan Boylan just outside the area as he was about to shoot. Despite playing with a man less, Armagh were always in contention, and on 41 minutes, Stephen Murray slammed a rising shot from an acute angle against the outside of the angle of bar and post. Bangor hit the goal which eased the nerves on 68 minutes. Substitute Jordan Forsythe crossed from the right for Gibson to send a downward header from six yards past a helpless keeper.
Ballyclare Comrades 1 PSNI 0
The game opened in great fashion for the home side with a goal inside three minutes. A free kick, played into the box by Andrew Doyle, saw Andrew Simpson get his head to the ball before keeper Harrison, and it flew into the net from seven yards. Despite enjoying a fair amount of possession during the first half, PSNI didn’t threaten the Comrades goal. The second half saw the home side maintain the advantage, with their defence not allowing the visitors a sniff at goal. Comrades came close to adding to their lead in the 80th minute but PSNI keeper David Harrison pulled off a super reaction save to deny a Chris Trussell first-time effort from six yards.
Knockbreda 3 Dergview 2
The first half was evenly matched, but Breda went in to half time one up after Jordan Hughes scored with a fantastic goal direct from a free kick. Breda looked to be coasting as they went two-up after 50 minutes, when Owens headed in a Wright cross. However, Dergview had other ideas and within 10 minutes were level after a fantastic volley from a cleared corner, and then a penalty levelled the match. Dergview were prevented from taking the lead by 16-year-old Ollie Fleetham in the home nets when he pulled off a brilliant save. Breda got the winner with 15 minutes left, when impressive substitute Johnston touched in another Wright cross.
Lisburn Distillery 1 Loughgall 1
Distillery’s Darren Smyth flashed a shot just wide of goal after a good interchange with Artur Kopyt and Loughgall’s Warren Mullen’s low shot also sailed wide of the target as both teams signaled their intensions early on. Loughgall took the lead when Warren Mullan rifled the ball home from a superb pass by Andrew Carson, and the visitors nearly doubled their lead when Marcus Dallas side-stepped a Jordan Morrison challenge before firing narrowly wide. The hosts drew level when Martin Jones was played in to coolly slot past Buchanan. In the second half, Kevin Short had a good chance for the home side when he got on the end of a superb pass from Jones, but as he ran through on goal, he was stopped by a Ryan Moffatt last-ditch tackle. Loughall had a chance to take all three points, but Carson’s powerful drive goal-wards was well blocked by Martin Young.
Moyola Park 1 Lurgan Celtic 1
Moyola opened the scoring in the 23rd minute following good work down the left between Stewart and Gray, who crossed for David Healy to score his first goal via a deflection. Farniok was having a good day in goal for the home side and kept his team ahead on two occasions before the half ended. The visitors thought they had equalised a minute later, but Stewart cleared the goal-bound effort off the line. Farniok denied Celtic three more times but could do nothing to prevent the equaliser in the 76th minute, when Chris Lavery turned and fired a shot past the heroic custodian. Haire thought he had won the game for the league leaders in the last minute, but once again, Farniok made a fantastic save to crown his man-of-the-match performance.
Ballymoney United 2 Tobermore United 1
In the 21st minute, a Ballymoney attack was finished off by McVicker, who confidently tucked the ball away at the back post. With the first half coming to a close, Tobermore were awarded a penalty for a foul by Craig in the box, and it was converted by Parkhill, who placed his shot just wide of Moore in the home goal. In the 55th minute, McKane brought a good front post save from McGraw, but the rebound fell back to him and he slotted the ball past the stranded keeper, and into the back corner of the net. Ballymoney had a penalty claim turned down on 80 minutes, when McGraw fouled Stewart but the referee only awarded a goal kick. Tobermore applied sustained pressure for an equaliser, but the home side defended well and went on to record the win they so desperately needed in their relegation fight.
Limavady United 2 Glebe Rangers 0
Limavady cruised to a derby victory in the sunshine on a day which saw results elsewhere give their promotion hopes a significant boost. After a two week lay-off, the Roesiders took some time to shake off ring-rustiness and went in front on 23 minutes, through a goal from top scorer Cathair Friel. A ball into the box was not properly cleared, and Friel nipped in front of McIlveen to steal the ball, but was then forced wide, only to collect the ball and score from the narrowest of angles. The game was made safe five minutes after the break with a goal of simplicity, as Wells' long kick was collected by Friel, who waited until just the right moment before passing to Corey McMullan on his right, and the young midfielder's crisp shot was far too good for McIlveen.