Gary Spence (58)


Gary Spence scored the only goal of the game (Picture: Freddie Parkinson/


In a scoreless first half the visitors applied most of the pressure with the impressive Stewart Nixon creating a few problems, but the Welders back four stood up to it, coping with everything that was thrown at them.

Ballyclare might have found a way through on 32 minutes only for Adam McCart's goalbound header to be cleared off the line while, a little later, Chris Rodgers headed over from eight yards.

The second half saw the Welders beginning to assert themselves more, so it was perhaps no surprise when Gary Spence grabbed what proved to be the winner just short of the hour.

An attempted Paddy Flood clearance was intercepted by Lukasz Gwiazda who, in turn, played Spence into position to knock home a first time effort into the roof of the net.

The visitors came close to equalising when Adam Gray's 22-yard free-kick was only parried by Welders 'keeper Robert Robinson as far as Mark Kelly but his follow-up dropped just wide of the post

At the other end, only a crucial last ditch Curtis Woods tackle prevented Welders striker David Rainey getting a shot on goal.

HW Welders: Robinson, Spence, Armstrong, McMillan, McMurray, Bonnes, Deans, Malone, Graham, Arthurs, Rainey subs Gwiazda (replaced Bonnes 58), Withers (not used), Dornan (not used), McKeown (not used), Craughwell (not used)

Ballyclare Comrades: Flood, Woods, Youle, McCart, Rodgers, McIlveen, Dobbin, Gray, Nixon, Johnston, Kelly subs Barr (replaced Kelly 75), Parker (not used), Chalmers (replaced Dobbin 85), Coulter (not used), McKnight (not used)

Referee: Declan Hassan