Sat 4 Sep - 15:00 | Dixon Park

Ballyclare Comrades

McKenna 36', 38'

2-2

Knockbreda

Devine 6', Rea 53'

Sat 4 Sep - 15:00 | Dixon Park

2-2

Ballyclare Comrades

McKenna 36', 38'

Knockbreda

Devine 6', Rea 53'

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Pre-Match Guide

We invite Knockbreda to Dixon Park tomorrow afternoon in our next Lough 41 Championship fixture.

Match Info

When: Saturday 4th September – Kick-Off 3:00pm

Where: Dixon Park

What: Lough 41 Championship

Entry: Pay at the gate – £8 (adult) / £5 (concession) – Kids under 12 free entry with paying adult

The Opponents

Knockbreda come to Dixon Park following a 3-1 victory over Queen’s last Saturday. They were hot out of the blocks as Lee McGreevy scored within the opening minute before Ethan Devine made it 2-0 (the clock hadn’t even reached double figures yet). Their last away outing was to Wilgar Park, where Dundela fell victims to a very similar story, with Knockbreda running out 4-3 victors. Lee McGreevy needed just 20 seconds this time to find the back of the net and Knockbreda found themselves 3-0 up with 35 minutes gone. Knockbreda manager, Colin McIlwrath, will be urging his players to start like a house on fire once again as they visit Dixon Park this Saturday.

The Comrades

A late Liam McKenna strike was enough to see the Comrades squeeze to a narrow victory over HW Welders last Friday night. The game was a relatively quiet affair with both teams evenly matched. The signing announcement just before the game of experienced Irish League defender, Howard Beverland, was sure to give the squad a boost in confidence and the 31-year-old didn’t disappoint the Dixon Park faithful as he put in a man of the match performance. We’ve had a couple of outgoings since last week as well, with defender, Kyle Crawford, and young forward, Josh McGreevy, both leaving the club to join Ballymoney United. Paul Harbinson did manage to capture the signing of 24-year-old ex-League of Ireland full-back, Ian Fletcher, on deadline day. The manager will be hoping his new players gel quickly with the squad as we enter a jam-packed September schedule.

Last Time Out

Our last competitive fixture against Knockbreda was in March 2020 when the Comrades came away from Breda Park with all 3 points following a 3-1 victory. Gary Donnelly struck the opening for the Comrades on 11 minutes with a close-range finish after Nathan O’Neill found him with a cushioned header. Then, six minutes later, JB Dobbin made it 2-0 after sliding home the loose ball when ‘keeper, Lewis Deane, kept out efforts from Samuel McIlveen and Oisin Barr on the follow up. Knockbreda pulled one back on the stroke of half-time through Fra Rice after he nipped in to capitalise on a mix-up between Ben McCauley and Kevin Hagan. However, with just over a quarter-of-an-hour remaining, O’Neill made sure of the points for the Comrades with a header from six yards after Dobbin crossed into the box. This turned out to be the last game we played before the league was called to a halt due to the global pandemic.

Teams

Match Report

Comrades had to settle for a point against Knockbreda in match where they rarely hit the heights.

The visitors started confidently and took an early lead in the 6th minute when Ethan Devine got onto the ball 25 yards out and struck a great effort which found the top corner of the net, giving the ‘keeper no chance.

Knockbreda continued to look the sharper side for the first half hour and had chances to increase their lead. On 12 minutes the ball fell to Whiteway from a corner, but his effort from 6 yards rose over the bar. Then on 20 minutes Comrades failed to clear effectively and the ball was played back into the box where Rea got to it and attempted to cushion a volley over Jack Ferguson from 11 yards. However, the home ‘keeper managed to get his fingertips to the ball and turned it over the bar.

In the latter part of the half the hosts began to come into the game at last and it was from their first real piece of dangerous attacking play that they got an equaliser in the 37th minute. Andrew Mooney did very well to beat a defender on the by-line before laying the ball back in a crowded box towards Liam McKenna 8 yards out. McKenna got not the cleanest of strikes on the ball, but it went in off the inside of the post despite the efforts of the ‘keeper to prevent it crossing the line.

A minute later and suddenly Comrades were in front. Good play by Adam Gray saw him run at the Knockbreda defence and play in a great ball from the left edge of the box which was met by a firm header from 6 yards by Liam McKenna who was again the man in the right position to score.

The home side went in at the break with a lead, but they couldn’t hold onto it for long into the second half. Eight minutes in Knockbreda levelled the scores when a ball played in from the right was controlled well by Rea who swivelled and planted it into the bottom corner of the net from 8 yards.

Three minutes later, Comrades had a chance when Ciarán Dobbin played Adam Gray though in the box, but his resulting shot from a difficult angle went over from 10 yards.

The host were then fortunate in the 58th minute when a mad scramble in the box looked likely to lead to a goal for the visitors, but after a number of attempts, some desperate blocks, and a good save from Jack Ferguson the ball was eventually cleared.

Neither team did enough in the rest of the half to take the points with defences generally in control, although there were some half chances.

In the 65th minute Jack Ferguson had to fly across his goal to turn wide a McGreevy shot from just outside the box.

On 76 minutes Gary Donnelly flashed a shot from 35 yards just over the bar for the home side.

The visitors were reduced to ten men in the 88th minute when McCaughan was sent off for protesting too vehemently to the referee during an incident, but it was too late to have much impact on the game.

The only effort the hosts could muster in the remaining time was four minutes into injury-time, with almost the last kick of the game, when Howard Beverland just ran out of room at the far post trying to get on the end of a Liam McKenna free kick and his effort went wide.

 

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