Samuel McIlveen completed the scoring for Ballyclare (Picture: Philip Magowan/PressEye.com)
Saturday, 01 December 2018
Ballyclare Comrades staged a remarkable comeback to recover from two goals down to defeat Dundela at Wilgar Park.
The early stages of the game were fairly evenly balanced, but the first chance fell to the home side on ten minutes.
Christopher Watts turned neatly at the edge of the box and got in a strike, but Adam Wright got close enough to him to ensure the effort was deflected just wide off the target.
On 20 minutes Adam Gray produced a good run into the box but, having got himself into a dangerous position, his resulting shot was a disappointment and failed to trouble the Dundela keeper.
Two minutes later, the home side struck the front. A neat one-two opened up the Comrades back line and set William Bingham free. He then made no mistake, firing an accurate finish from the edge of the box wide of Ben Fry and inside the far post.
Comrades tried to react to this setback, but lacked penetration going forward. At the other end, their vulnerability was exposed on 37 minutes, when Dundela scored their second goal.
A cross into the box saw McComb his get his head to the ball far too easily and he powered a good finish into the net from nine yards.
The second half started with few chances for either side. Comrades had a good percentage of the possession, as indeed they had in the first half, but were struggling to create much.
However, the visitors kept plugging away and, as the half progressed, they started to look more threatening.
On 65 minutes a good surging run from Christopher Crane was brought to end by a tackle just outside the box. The loose ball broke to Eoin Kane, who got in a strike on target, but Ryan McBride was well placed to save comfortably.
Three minutes later, Gray hit a strike from just outside the box which looked on target, only to be headed away off the line by a defender. At the other end Comrades were grateful to Fry for keeping them in the game with a fine save in the 70th minute.
Mark McClelland got in a good shot from 20 yards, which looked bound for the bottom corner of the net, only for the young keeper to dive and turn the ball past the post at full-stretch.
However, Comrades were fortunate from the resulting corner when Jay Magee got his head to the ball and rattled the angle of bar and post with a powerful effort.
Comrades introduced substitutes Chris Trussell and Thomas Robinson, to add to the earlier introduction of Samuel McIlveen and all three were to play a major part in a superb turn around.
On 76 minutes, four minutes after coming on, Trussell and Robinson linked up to pull a goal back. Robinson got in on the right side of the box and played the ball in for Trussell, who drilled an unstoppable volley past the keeper from seven yards.
Two minutes later, Comrades were on level terms. McIlveen flighted in a dangerous corner and Jamie Willighan got his head to the ball at the far post to score from close range.
The visiting supporters were delirious, and their joy was increased on 83 minutes when their team incredibly took the lead. Chris Trussell ran at the home defence and got free at the edge of the box, before playing the ball in to Eoin Kane, who beautifully finished the chance with a low finish from 13 yards.
The home side tried to react, but Comrades showed the grit to keep them at bay.
Indeed, the visitors sealed a great victory two minutes into injury-time with a fourth goal. Gray made a great mazy run into the box and caused panic in the Dundela defence, where a defender stumbled and handled the ball on the ground. A penalty was awarded and McIlveen stepped up to put the destination of the points beyond doubt with a cool finish.
Dundela: McBride, King, Brown, Hanley, Magee, Morrison, McMaster, Murray, McComb, Watts, Bingham subs Nimick (replaced Bingham 82), Parker (not used), Murdock (not used), Browne (not used), McClelland (replaced Watts 68)
Ballyclare Comrades: Fry, Woods, Crane, Wright, Dobbin, Kane, Gray, Tully, Willighan, Brown, Donnelly subs McIlveen (replaced Donnelly 58), McWilliams (not used), Trussell (replaced Tully 72), Robinson (replaced Dobbin 72), Kirk (not used)
Referee: Ross Dunlop
|Curtis Brown||90 +1|
|Samuel McIlveen||58||90 +1|