Saturday, 23 February 2019
Ballyclare Comrades and Knockbreda shared the spoils from this Bluefin Sport Championship encounter at Dixon Park thanks to goals at either end of the game.
The match couldn't have started any better for the home side as they took the lead inside the opening 20 seconds. Gary Brown sent in a cross from the right and defender Richard Copeland got his head to it, directing it past his own keeper.
Comrades failed to build on this early good fortune and the visitors began to gain most of the possession. In the 16th minute they threatened, when a free-kick played into the box saw the ball break to Daniel Culbert and he flashed a shot through a crowd of bodies and just wide of the target.
Then, after half-an-hour, Ballyclare put together a good move which ended with Gary Donnelly getting in a strike from 14 yards, but Dean Smyth produced a good block to deny him.
As the game progressed it became an a scrappy frustrating affair for both sides with Knockbreda perhaps enjoyed the better of what chances were created.
On 79 minutes Karl Hamill was played free into the box and looked set to score, having taken the ball around 'keeper Ben Fry. However, rather off balance, he skewed his effort wide of the unguarded goal from 10 yards.
A minute later, Hamill had another great chance as he was again played into a great position inside the box, but his resulting effort was knocked over the advancing Fry before falling wide of the post.
It looked as if Comrades would hold on for to secure victory, but in the 88th minute Knockbreda grabbed a deserved equaliser. The ball broke from a corner to Francis Rice and he drilled the ball into the net from nine yards.
And 'Breda could have clinched the points deep, deep into stoppage time. Patrick Cafolla raced onto a through ball but Fry raced out of the his box to bring him down, earning a red card for his trouble but salvaging a point for his side.
Ballyclare Comrades: Fry, Woods, Crane, McIlveen, McQuitty, Trussell, Gray, Long, Brown, Youle, Donnelly subs Wright, Tully, Willighan, Robinson, Getty
Knockbreda: Smyth, Culbert, Hamill, Brennan, McAnulty, Copeland, Roohi, Newberry, Gilmour, McDonald, Cafolla subs Rice, Henry, Patterson, Burns, McVeigh
Referee: Ben McMaster
|Ben Fry||90 +5|
|Christopher Crane||90 +3|