NIFL Championship round-up, October 24
All the latest from Championship One and Two:
Bangor 0 Ballyclare Comrades 1
A goal on 79 minutes was enough to give visitors Ballyclare Comrades all three points against a Bangor team which had won their previous three league games, scoring eight goals in the process. The game was refereed by 'exchange' referee Robertas Valikonas from Lithuania. Following a scoreless first half, both teams looked to build from defence and on 58 minutes, Comrades midfielder William Wharry hit the post from eight yards. The visitors appeared to grow in confidence and play was mostly in the Bangor half, but there was no final product from Comrades despite the best efforts of nippy winger Michael O'Hanlon. The breakthrough for Comrades eventually arrived when the home wall blocked a free kick on the edge of the box, but the ball fell to Comrades centre half Adam McCart who slammed the ball past the keeper and into the left corner of the net. Bangor threw everyone upfield, and on 87 minutes, Nicholl made a good waist-high save from Andy Long's 10-yard drive and seconds later, Long was out of luck, heading a long, looping cross from sub Jordan Lucas on the left a couple of yards wide of the target.
Dergview 1 Ards 0
A Ryan Mayse penalty a minute from time earned Dergview a deserved victory over Championship One title contenders Ards this afternoon. Mayse struck after Ards defender Greg Hill was adjudged to have handled a Colm Murray cross as the hosts piled on the pressure in search of a late winner. The visitors disputed the decision and the earlier call by referee John Deignan to send off striker Stephen Small on 69 minutes. By that stage though, the hosts were well on top and looked the more likely to break the deadlock. In the first half Murray struck the crossbar while home keeper Jack Boggs thwarted Small and saved well from Eamon McAllister. After the break Dergview dominated with Cashel, Burns and Robinson all going close before Small received his marching orders. The hosts then upped the ante with Burns, Richard Lynch and Mayse threatening a winner before the latter kept his cool to seal a memorable win.
Lurgan Celtic 1 Harland & Wolff Welders 1
Celtic got off to a perfect start when Chris Lavery was tripped in the box. Lavery got up, dusted himself down, and calmly scored from the spot-kick. The game flowed from end to end but it was the defences who were on top. Lavery made a quick break on the left and elected to shoot instead of passing to the better placed Josh Barton, and his shot came to nothing. Barton himself came close with a stinging long range effort which whistled just past the post. The second half saw the Welders come more and more into the game and they took charge for long periods. Aaron Haire broke through minutes from the end but with the goal at his mercy he shot narrowly wide. Home keeper Conor McCorry kept his side in the game with several fine saves. Then, in added time, after a Raymond Fitzpatrick challenge in the box, a penalty was awarded. Michael McLelland kept his nerve and stepped up to slot the ball home and leave the game all square. Probably a fair result in a game which had plenty of end to end action over the 90 minutes which was appreciated by the large crowd.
Larne 2 Annagh United 0
Larne held their nerve to earn a two-goal victory at home to Annagh United on Saturday afternoon. Late goals from Darren Stuart and Thomas Robinson secured the three points for the Inver Reds to complete an impressive four wins from four league games in the month of October. The home side played on the front foot for most of the game with Annagh United content to play on the counter attack. Guillaume Keke had Larne's best chance in the opening period but saw his shot saved by Marc Robinson when well placed. However, Larne were dealt a blow on the stroke of half time when Keke was forced off through injury. In the second period, Larne continued to press but without making many clear-cut chances. Indeed they had to survive a major scare when a fine Paddy Flood save and a clearance off the line by Stuart McMullan was required to keep the scores level. John Donnelly thought he had broken the deadlock when he tapped home James McCabe's square ball across the face off goal, but the goal was ruled out for offside. Larne had an even better chance to take the lead with five minutes to go when James McCabe was brought down when through on goal. Darren Stuart made no mistake with the spot-kick. Two minutes into stoppage time, Thomas Robinson put the icing on the cake with a fantastic solo goal. Robinson ran from the left flank, across the pitch and round the Annagh defence to calmly steer the ball past his namesake in the Annagh goal.
Loughgall 2 Lisburn Distillery 1
Lisburn Distillery finished with only seven players as the ‘Red Mist’ descended at Lakeview Park on Saturday. An action-packed second half saw Loughgall go 1–0 ahead alongside two Distillery dismissals before it culminated in an incident-packed spell that saw two goals and two further red cards in injury time. Distillery were reduced to 10 men in the 58th minute when Kevin Hughes received a second caution. On 66 minutes, captain Darren Nixon was also dismissed. Warner Mullen stepped up and cooly slotted home the resultant spot-kick. The game was petering out as Loughgall looked to retain possession and secure the win, however in the first minute of additional time substitute Marty Jones raced onto a pinpoint forward ball before firing past keeper Buchanan to level for the nine men. One minute later, Loughgall were awarded a penalty when Warner Mullen was upended inside the penalty area. Niall Derry subsequently received a straight red card, Mullen retained his composure to fire low into the bottom corner and secure the three points, and Lisburn Distillery keeper Ryan McBride was then dismissed to end an eventful afternoon.
Limavady United 4 PSNI 2
The clash of the top two saw Cathair Friel record another double to take his total for the season to 21. United hit the front on 14 minutes, when three defenders failed to arrest Friel's progress down the left wing, and he was able to find Harkin in the six-yard box, and he stabbed the ball home from six yards. In the 24th minute, McWilliams broke down the right and passed to Agnew, who slid the ball under Wells to equalise. Three minutes later, the home side were back in front. Owens' perfectly flighted free kick was met on the full by Friel who headed in from close range. On 71 minutes, Vady got the precious insurance goal. Again, Friel slipped his marker to shoot from the right, and Harrison was at full stretch in punching the ball straight to Owens outside the box, and the player-manager lashed the ball into the net. Friel then earned the reward for his best all-round performance of the season with a fine individual effort, powerfully shooting home from inside the box. The PSNI grabbed a consolation in the last minute of normal time, as a quick breakaway ended with Anderson rounding Wells inside the box and slotting the ball into the net.
Tobermore United 2 Newington 1
Tobermore came out on top of this game to bag another valuable 3 points, which sees them go joint top of the table. Newington started the game brightly and were always dangerous on the counter attack with the tricky Burns, White and Scully giving the home defence plenty to do. Tobermore lost Lamont through an injury midway through the first half and he was replaced by Batista, who himself was coming back from a long layoff, and his introduction seemed to give the home side renewed energy. With five minutes of the first half remaining, the game burst into life when Curtis scored with a superb finish from Parkhill’s cross to put Tobermore ahead. Then right on the half time whistle, McGraw somehow prevented Scully from grabbing an equaliser in a goal-line scramble. On 81 minutes, Kyle Reid powered a back-post header past McGraw to level the game. Tobermore’s own super-sub Hugo Batista, with barely a minute left on the clock, ran onto a through ball, cut inside his marker and placed his shot just wide of the diving Smyth to win the game and wrap up the points.
Queens University 0 Dundela 0
The best thing in a disappointing first period was the half-time whistle. Queen’s had the best chance, when Matt Hughes got to the by-line and crossed to Patrick Stuart whose first-time shot went well wide. The game opened up a bit in the second period, but there were few good chances. For Queen’s, Stuart’s effort from 15 yards was easily saved by Dundela keeper James Taylor. Dundela winger Ethan Knipe had a great run on the right but his low shot went into the side-netting. The visitors got on top near the end and sub Scott Doran, had a good chance on the right but his hard-hit shot was parried away by Queen’s keeper Declan Brown. A point each was probably a fair outcome.
Glebe Rangers 1 Moyola Park 3
Both sides were keen to get off to a good start and the game started with a high tempo with some feisty challenges. Jason Paul saw a deflected effort fly just over the bar in the fifth minute, and two minutes later, a great effort from Adam Gray almost gave Moyola Park the lead when his left foot effort from 18 yards cannoned off the crossbar. The second half started with Glebe looking the hungrier side. A mistake by Moyola's Doey in the 49th minute allowed Glebe to break and a terrific effort by McDowell found the top corner, giving Farniok no chance. Moyola almost drew level in the 59th minute when a headed flick from McIllhattan found Jason Paul and his effort came back off the post with Moore beaten. Glebe almost doubled their lead on 75 minutes but McDowell just shot wide. A minute later, Moyola Park were level when Jason Paul calmly headed the ball beyond Moore in the Glebe goals. Moyola Park began to dominate with substitute Gregg looking lively and on 83 minutes Gregg was put through and he calmly finished to give Moyola Park the lead. Then, on 87 minutes, a superb cross from Magill`s free kick found the head of Daniel McIllhattan at the back post and the midfielder sealed the points for Moyola Park.