Adam Gray opened the scoring for Ballyclare (©INPHO/Jonathan Porter)
Saturday, 06 October 2018
Jamie Willighan grabbed a stoppage time winner for Ballyclare Comrades on the road at Dergview.
With the clock ticking down Comrades broke on the counter attack, Eoin Kane galloped away on the right and he picked out Willighan to volley home from six yards.
It was a hard pill to swallow for Dergview who had matched their opponents stride for stride in the second half and in the process squander a number of excellent opportunities to forge ahead.
That said the homesters were fortunate to be level at the break after a Paul Smith goal on the stroke of half-time had cancelled out Adam Gray's deserved early opener.
But in the second period Adam Dougherty squandered two excellent openings to give the home side the lead before Smith had an harshly chalked off for offside.
That was in contrast to the opening 45 minutes when Comrades called the early tune and after Dergview right-back Andrew Sproule cleared a header off the line following a corner kick, the visitors grabbed a 15th minute lead.
The home defence failed to clear their lines, the ball broke to Gray, who showed quick feet to step past his marker and hammer a rising shot inside Alan Buchanan's left post.
Dergview gained a foothold after that early setback however their opponents had two great opportunities to double their advantage around the half hour mark.
The lively Thomas Robinson cut inside from the left to unleash a thunderbolt which cannoned back down off the crossbar before being hoofed to safety.
And moments later Robinson went close again when scooping a dangerous Michael McQuitty right-sided cross over Buchanan's goal from no more than six yards out.
Dergview had offered very little in the final third up to this point however the hosts almost equalised shortly afterwards when a poor clearance by Comrades keeper Kyke Rowe put his defence under pressure. Sproule played the ball quickly into Smith but Rowe made amends for his earlier mistake by pushing the attacker's attempted chip around a post.
Smith though wasn't to be denied and on the stroke of half-time excellent play by Sproule on the right and a stunning cross from Adam Buchanan was superbly controlled by the attacker to hammer home.
No sooner had Dergview equalised than they almost fell behind again. The visitors swept forward on the left, Kane burst through the middle to usher in Robinson but he was denied by an outstanding save from Buchanan.
Dergview should have taken the lead early in the second half when Matthew Kirk and Smith combined to release Adam Dougherty but, with only Rowe to beat, the striker flashed his shot across goal and inches wide.
Smith again picked out Dougherty moments later but the striker's first touch let him down before Comrades swept forward on the counter attack for Buchanan to deny Robinson with another excellent stop.
By now though the home side were beginning to shade the verdict as Smith had an effort chalked off for offside after a sweeping move involving Sproule and marauding defender Mickey Logue on the right flank.
Sproule then warmed the hands of Rowe with a rasping drive after good play by Falconer while at the other end Kane failed to hit the target when well placed.
The visitors though remained dangerous on the counter attack and two minutes into stoppage-time Kane galloped away on the right to pick out Willighan and the supersub did the rest.
Dergview: Al. Buchanan, M. Buchanan, Falconer, McNulty, Ad. Buchanan, Burns, Kirk, A. Dougherty, Smith, Sproule, S. Dougherty subs G. Doherty (replaced Sproule 70), Logue (replaced S. Dougherty 31), A. Doherty (not used), Hargan (not used), Wallace (replaced Kirk 70)
Ballyclare Comrades: Rowe, Crane, Wright, McQuitty, Dobbin, Kane, Gray, Tully, Robinson, Donnelly, Youle subs McIlveen (not used), McWilliams (replaced Gray 84), Trussell (replaced Youle 70), Willighan (replaced Kane 84), Gault (not used)
Referee: Mark Dillon
|Jamie Willighan||84||90 +1|