Kyle Crawford levelled in stoppage time for PSNI (©INPHO/Brian Little)
Saturday, 29 December 2018
The PSNI fought back from two goals down to earn a point from this visit to Ballyclare Comrades.
The opening goal came in the 22nd minute when Gary Brown played in a dangerously flighted corner and, in attempting to get to the ball, PSNI keeper Jordan Williamson punched the ball into his own net.
The PSNI reacted well to this setback and had the better of the rest of the first half with chances to level the scores.
In the 26th minute a free-kick played into the box broke to Aaron Cochrane whose effort from ten yards was kept out by a good save from Paddy Flood.
Then, on 35 minutes, a low ball in from the left set up Jake McNeill for a chance from the edge of the box, but he didn't catch his effort correctly and Flood was able to save easily.
The home side were perhaps fortunate to go in at half-time with the lead, but they stepped things up at the start of the second half.
On 52 minutes Jamie Willighan broke through into the box, but rather than shooting from a good position he tried to set up Adam Gray and a defender was able to intercept.
Seven minutes later Comrades doubled their lead. Brown's ball across the box was cleverly left by Willighan allowing it to find Gray, who then calmly placed the ball past Williamson from 13 yards.
The home side were now in control and looked capable of adding to their advantage.
In the 63rd minute Willighan shot just over from the edge of the box. Then, a minute later, Christopher Crane played a great ball across the box, but the arriving Joe Tully couldn't get enough on it to finish the chance.
The pivotal incident of the game came in the 74th minute. Gray bamboozled a defender on the left side of the box and played the ball into the 6-yard box, where Tully slammed it against the bar from close range. The young striker, frustrated at his miss, kicked out and connected with the keeper, earning himself a second yellow card and reducing his team to ten men.
The PSNI soon took advantage of their numerical advantage and on 79 minutes they reduced the deficit, when Tony Tumelty got free into the box on the left and slid the ball inside the far post from 11 yards.
The visitors now piled on the pressure, attempting to get an equaliser, but it looked as if Comrades were going to hold out.
However, with what was virtually the last action of the game, in the 3rd minute of injury-time, the PSNI snatched a point. The ball was played into the box from the left and Kyle Crawford got his head to it from 8 yards, sending it looping into the top corner of the net.
Ballyclare Comrades: Flood, Woods, Crane, McIlveen, Wright, Dobbin, Gray, Tully, Willighan, Brown, Youle subs McWilliams (not used), Kane (replaced Willighan 87), Robinson (replaced Brown 73), Kirk (not used), Donnelly (not used)
PSNI: Williamson, Ferguson, Riddle, Crawford, Simpson, McNeill, D. Wilson, J. Wilson, Adamczyk, Cochrane, Wright subs Tumelty (replaced Adamczyk 65), McCune (replaced Ferguson 67), Hamilton (not used), Adair (not used), Waide (not used)
Referee: Ben McMaster
|Kyle Crawford||60||90 +3|