Douglas duo drill Gilford in derby

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There was a double cause for celebration in the Scarva ranks on Saturday when the final whistle sounded.

Victory in a derby is a cause enough to celebrate but this win has also helped the spectre of relegation to further recede.

Rangers aren’t mathematically beyond the drop but these three points considerably boost their survival hopes.

For Gilford Crusaders, on the other hand, their 3-1 defeat left them rooted to foot of the Division Two table.

It was a second-half revival that led Scarva to victory, all three of their goals coming after they found themselves 1-0 down at the break.

A key factor in the outcome, however, was a red card brandished to a Gilford man in the first period, leaving the basement side facing a tough task to hold on to their slender advantage.

Scarva also ended the game with ten men but by the time their man was sent off, they were already 2-1 ahead.

Hosts Gilford broke the deadlock in the first half of Saturday’s match before a Sam Boyd strike at the other end was saved by the Crusaders keeper.

Scarva keeper Stuart Wilson was then called into action, making a smart low save to prevent his side falling two goals behind.

A sending off meant the hosts would play the remainder of the game with 10 men and only an alert save at his near post by the Gilford keeper denied Kyle Foster an equalising goal.

Foster threatened again before half time but this time a home defender made a vital interception, nicking the ball away from the Scarva player at the expense of a corner as Gilford kept their lead intact.

Scarva’s equaliser arrived early in the second half, a ball by Jason McClelland deflecting off a Crusaders player, with the home keeper a helpless spectator as the ball sailed into the net.

Foster had another strike on goal but it was well saved.

Soon Scarva were ahead for the first time in the match. Gregory Douglas won the ball in midfield and played it out to the right. A pass found Freddie McKelvey in a central area and he picked out Douglas in the box to drill the ball emphatically into the bottom corner of the net.

The second red card of the game then reduced the visitors to ten men and Stuart Wilson made a number of saves to ensure his side’s 2-1 advantage remained intact.

Late in the game, Douglas unleashed a thunderous shot that crashed off the crossbar and in the ensuing scramble for the ball, the hosts conceded a penalty.

Kyle Foster coolly despatched the resulting spot kick to give his side the welcome breathing space of a two goal lead.

Best for Scarva Rangers – Greg Douglas and Rod Douglas.