Moneyslane manager David Johnstone said he had ‘mixed emotions’ after his side travelled to Laurelvale in the quarter finals of the Alan Wilson Cup.
Johnstone said whilst he was happy to see his side get ‘the job done’, he was disappointed with the overall performance.
Neil Taylor was unavailable through illness but otherwise it was a full squad for Moneyslane.
‘Slane got off to a great start when after only 13 minutes Johnny Kernaghan cut in from the left and his shot powered low into the net from the edge of the box.
However, the lead was short lived when a defensive mix up gifted the home team possession and a driven cross deflected off an unfortunate Ally Quinn and spun past Steven White into the bottom corner.
Back came ‘Slane, who went ahead when Brian Quilty adjusted his feet quickly to volley home from 14 yards out.
However, the home team immediately responded with good pressure forcing a series of corners that caused problems for ‘Slane.
It didn’t come as a surprise when Laurelvale equalised when an excellent curling set piece was flicked into the net.
‘Slane had some good chances, most notably when Gregg Harrison had a shot saved and Brian Quilty fired just over. The home team finished the half strong.
‘Slane looked more solid after the break and although they were on top the home team were always dangerous on the break.
A series of corners and throw-in’s brought no reward and as the game progressed both teams sensed the next goal could be vital.
Gareth Rees and Mark Ervine came on for Gareth Bingham and Adam Stewart to inject some impetus.
Steven White produced a good save high to his right and Darragh Peden headed over when well placed as the game swung end to end.
With 15 minutes left there was a blow for ‘Slane when Steve Coulter was shown a second yellow leaving the away team with 10 men.
It looked like it could be a tough end of the game for ‘Slane but then a Steve White clearance was chased down by Gregg Harrison as the keeper came out, Slane’s top scorer poked the ball past him and into the net. The final moments of the game saw ‘Slane keep possession well and ensure the victory that puts them into the semi finals.
David Johnstone commented: “Mixed emotions after that game. Happy that we got the job done on a difficult pitch and against a hard working opponent, but disappointed with our overall performance particularly our defending.
“Credit to Laurelvale who really put it up to us today and certainly put us under pressure at times.
“I think too many of my players thought it would be an easy game and we were too casual at times.
“We were shaky at the back, which is not like us and we were not fluid going forward. In the end it took a Gregg Harrison strike to win it and it was just reward for Gregg who worked hard all day with little service.
“I see today as another wake up call to the players that they cannot take anything for granted and must perform in every game.
“When all is said and done we are in the semi finals of the Alan Wilson Cup and an away semi final game to Tullyvallen and we certainly aim to keep hold of this cup.”
The team were as follows:
Steve White, Michael Ferguson, Ally Quinn, Ryan Shilliday, Darragh Peden, Adam Stewart, Stevie Coulter, Gregg Harrison, Gareth Bingham, Brian Quilty and Johnny Kernaghan.
Subs: Gareth Rees, Mark Ervine and Jonny Gibson.