Samuel McIlveen completed the scoring for Ballyclare (Picture: Jonathan Porter/PressEye.com)
Saturday, 09 February 2019
Ballyclare Comrades swept to a comfortable victory over bottom of the table Limavady United at Dixon Park.
The Roesiders got off to a great start, however, when, as early as the third minute, Sean McCarron got on the end of a knockdown to strike the ball home from eight yards.
The visitors' lead didn't last long and five minutes later the scores were level. Adam Gray picked the ball up in a central position and ran forward before unleashing an unstoppable shot from 22 yards past Paul Wells.
In the 16th minute Comrades had a chance to take the lead, when Thomas Robinson played in John Dobbin, who had run into the box. However, he couldn't lift the ball over the advancing keeper from just outside the six yard box.
The home side failed to keep the momentum going in the remainder of the first half and it was Limavady who looked the more likely to score. In the 37th minute, Jack Hazard had to be well-placed to save from a McCarron effort, hit from the edge of the box, and there were other occasions were the visitors got into dangerous positions, without managing to get a shot on target.
The second half started with a decent effort from Comrades, as Gray fired in a shot from 20 yards, but Wells was in the right place to save.
Play was evenly balanced in the early stages of the half and on 54 minutes it was the visitors who threatened, when Gary McFadden shot from 22 yards, his effort going just wide, with Hazard scrambling across his goal.
In the 62nd minute the ball fell to Gary Donnelly at the edge of the box and he then produced a sublime finish, lobbing over the keeper and under the bar.
Two minute later Donnelly might have doubled the lead, when he got into a great position inside the six yard box, but his attempt to beat Wells at the near post was blocked.
The home side were now on top and in the 72nd minute they should have stretched their lead. Some lovely foot work at the edge of the box from Donnelly allowed him space to play the ball to Gray in a great position nine yards from goal, but uncharacteristically he hit his effort well over the bar with only the keeper to beat.
Three minutes later, the home side were reminded of the precarious nature of their lead, when it took a good save from Jack Hazard to prevent McCarron from equalising, with an effort hit from 13 yards.
In the 82nd minute, Comrades were given some breathing space with a third goal. Good play from Donnelly set up Samuel McIlveen for a well hit strike from the edge of the box. Wells managed to save this effort, but the ball rebounded out to recently introduced substitute Chris Trussell and he made no mistake, blasting the ball home from eight yards.
Three minutes into injury-time and with virtually the last kick of the game, Comrades added to the margin of victory. A bad mistake in their own box by the Limavady defence presented a chance to McIlveen and he took it with aplomb, burying a shot into the net from 14 yards.
Ballyclare Comrades: Hazard, Woods, Crane, McIlveen, Wright, Dobbin, Gray, Willighan, Robinson, Youle, Donnelly subs McQuitty (replaced Wright 67), Trussell (replaced Robinson 80), Tully (not used), Long (replaced Donnelly 84), Getty (not used)
Limavady United: Wells, McCauley, McClean, Harkin, McCallion, Logue, Gary McFadden, McCarron, Duffy, Doherty, Gareth McFadden subs Brown (not used), Devine (replaced McClean 74), McCreadie (replaced Duffy 70), Pomeroy (replaced Logue 67)
Referee: Neil Robinson
|Samuel McIlveen||90 +3|