Newington Rangers 2 Dromore Amateurs 2
QUITE unexpectedly Dromore found themselves clearing snow off their cars on Saturday morning to travel to Larne to face Newington in the league.
With up to four inches of snow lying on Ferris Park in Dromore, resulting in the seconds match being called off, it seemed shopping with the better halves was more likely!
The match was given the all clear and Smylie gathered up his squad which was somewhat depleted for various reasons. A team was gathered up which included an ‘experienced’ bench that saw a return to the first team squad for stalwart R Ward.
Dromore started slowly, which is becoming their trademark, and had to soak up a lot of pressure. Keeper Keelan made some excellent saves to continue his good run of form which has helped the seconds to two consecutive victories.
The locals took the lead following good build up play down the right hand side that led to Coady being fouled in the corner.
The free-kick was swung in by S Henderson and Coady stole in front of the defender to head into the back of the net to give Dromore the lead against the run of play.
Dromore’s defence was holding up well until some sloppy passing in midfield led to a free kick on the edge of the box. A superb curling shot found its way into the top corner just evading Keelan at full stretch. Both teams battled hard to half-time going in all square.
Dromore started the second half brighter and started to find space in Newington’s half, enabling Dromore to create more chances.
This time Newington scored against the run of play. Another mistake led to a free kick on the edge of the box. The free kick was swung to the back post where it found an unmarked player who was able to head the ball across goal into the path of his striker who had an easy finish from close range.
Manager Smylie looked to his experienced bench to help get Dromore going forward again and it was W McMurray who came off the bench to draw Dromore level. And what a goal it was! McMurray latched onto a loose ball 20 yards out and sent a left footed howitzer high into the roof of the net.
It was a stunning goal that not only drew Dromore level but sent Dromore in search of the winner. Dromore pressed hard and eventually got Coady clear into the box with only the keeper to beat but he appeared to be brought down by the keeper’s trailing leg, only to be booked for diving.
Dromore showed good character and pushed forward at every opportunity but they could not find their way through to goal. The last move of the game saw Haslem battle his way into the box only to be shoulder charged in the back. Again the ref somehow saw no foul play and the game ended in a draw.
Dromore came away slightly disappointed but points are very hard to come by in this league.
Team: K McKinstry, K Walsh, R Downey, A McDonald, A Henderson, C Gilliland, S Haslem, N Allen, S Henderson, R Coady, K Moreland. Subs R Ward, W McMurray, S Curran.