Andrew Sproule opened the scoring for Dergview (INPHO/Brian Little)
Saturday, 16 February 2019
Dergview's bid for a great escape gained further traction when second half goals from Andy Sproule and Gareth Doherty secured a deserved victory over Ballyclare Comrades at Darragh Park.
A fourth league win on the trot leaves Ivan Sproule's team seven points clear of basement boys Limavady United and just a point behind the PSNI.
The home side enjoyed the better of the opening exchanges with Sproule providing a significant threat on the right flank. Early doors a Ballyclare defender got to a low Sproule cross just ahead of Philip Wallace, who shortly afterwards somehow steered another Sproule delivery the wrong side of the back stick with the goal at his mercy.
At the other end Ruairi McElroy pushed over a Sammy McIlveen free kick before Adam Gray fizzed wide after the home rearguard had been caught out by a long searching pass.
Dergview though were looking particularly dangerous and after good approach play by Garth Falconer, Sproule and McGuckin, the latter pulled a shot agonisingly past a post.
Moments later Wallace wriggled free only to be denied by a last-ditch tackle from defender Chris Crane before visiting keeper Jack Hazard pushed away a stinging effort by Falconer following an enterprising passage of play on the left.
The remainder of the first half was evenly contested however three minutes before the interval the home side should have scored on the counter attack. A searching pass by Blaine Burns released Wallace, who raced to the right byline to pull the ball back for McGuckin but the striker's first effort was blocked and a second flew into the side-netting.
Dergview also began the second half on the front foot and ten minutes in visiting goalkeeper Hazard failed to hold a glancing header from Sproule and the ball dropped over the goal line.
That slice of good fortune gave the hosts added momentum as centre-back Dale Maxwell volleyed over on the turn after the visiting rearguard failed to clear an in-swinging free kick from Falconer.
With Matty Callaghan, Burns and Doherty now controlling the midfield, the home side continued to call the tune with Burns volleying above the crossbar while Falconer thundered a 30-yard free kick inches over.
At the back the Derg defence was largely dominant and with 15 minutes remaining the homesters grabbed a second to make sure of the points.
Sproule and Wallace were both involved on the right and when McGuckin slid the ball across to Doherty the former Finn Harps man coolly slotted the ball past Hazard.
There was no way back for Comrades and apart from an angled drive from Chris Trussell, in the wake of good work by substitute Thomas Robinson, the visitors offered little in attack.
Dergview: McElroy, M. Buchanan, Falconer, Maxwell, McNulty, Burns, Callaghan, G. Doherty, McGuckin, A. Sproule, Wallace subs Ballantyne (not used), McGlynn (not used), Kirk (replaced Burns 86), Crawford (replaced Wallace 74), I. Sproule (not used)
Ballyclare Comrades: Hazard, Woods, Crane, McIlveen, McQuitty, Dobbin, Trussell, Gray, Willighan, Youle, Donnelly subs Wright (not used), Tully (not used), Long (not used), Robinson (replaced McIlveen 70), Getty (replaced Crane 70)
Referee: Gareth Stewart