Tue 21 Sep - 19:45 | Dixon Park

TOALS CO. ANTRIM SHIELD

Ballyclare Comrades

Mooney 22', 73', Herron 70'

3-1

Queen's University

Glackin 40'

Tue 21 Sep - 19:45 | Dixon Park

TOALS CO. ANTRIM SHIELD

3-1

Ballyclare Comrades

Mooney 22', 73', Herron 70'

Queen's University

Glackin 40'

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Pre-Match Guide

We invite Queen’s University to Dixon Park tomorrow evening in the first round of the ToalsBet.com County Antrim Shield.

Match Info

When: Tuesday 21st September – Kick-Off 7:45pm

Where: Dixon Park

What: ToalsBet.com County Antrim Shield Round 1

Entry: Pay at the gate – £8 (Adult) / £5 (Concession)

A reminder to season ticket holders that season tickets are not valid for cup games.

Match & Ball Sponsor: Dominos, Ballyclare

The Opponents

Queen’s University’s bad start to the season continued on Saturday with a 3-1 defeat away to Dergview. That’s now 7 defeats in their opening 8 games in the Lough 41 Championship for the Students. However, the Comrades have faced up against Peter Thompson’s men twice already this season and know from the close encounters of both games, that Tuesday evening will be anything but easy.

The Comrades

The Comrades come into the game following a 1-0 victory over early league leaders, Newry City, on Saturday. Newry started the better of the sides and were on top for most of the first half as Comrades struggled to put anything together. However, the visitors were largely kept at bay by the home defence and struggled to create chances despite having most of the possession. The second half, however, was a different story and Comrades were on the front-foot. Gary Donnelly got the only goal of the game in the 52nd minute. It all started with Joe Tully beautifully controlling a high ball. He then set Tom Mathieson free to run to the edge of the box and send in a teasing ball which Donnelly made contact with, sending it goalward from six yards. Despite the ‘keeper’s effort to claw the ball away it crossed the line, quickly confirmed by the referee’s assistant. The hosts were able to see out the rest of the game to seal an important win. Ian Fletcher took a nasty knock to the head during Saturday’s game and had to go to A&E for stitches, while Howard Beverland also departed the field early as a precautionary measure for a tight hamstring. After a quick turnaround from Saturday, Harbinson may well look to shuffle his deck for Tuesday night’s cup tie.

Last Time Out

You have to go the whole way back to last week for the last time the Comrades and Queen’s faced up against each other. Comrades came away with all three points in the Lough 41 Championship after a hard-fought 3-1 win over Queen’s at The Dub. Paul Harbinson’s men started the better of the sides and bossed the first 15 minutes. However, the only effort of note during this period was in the 11th minute when Adam Gray produced a good turn and shot from 22 yards which went narrowly wide of the post. The rest of the first half was evenly balanced, with defences generally on top despite enterprising attacking play from both teams. As the game moved into its final quarter it looked like it might be heading for stalemate, and it took a wonderful goal on 72 minutes to break the stalemate, with Liam McKenna producing a lovely curler from 25 yards which dipped over the ‘keeper and just under the bar. The game now opened up for an exciting finish and Comrades doubled their lead in the 79th minute. A good run down the middle from Adam Gray discomforted the home defence and the ball broke to Ciaran Heggarty who cut into the right side of the box and struck a great effort wide of the ‘keeper into the top corner of the net from 17 yards. Five minutes later, the travelling supporters hopes of a stress-free end to the game were dented when Queen’s pulled a goal back. A ball played into the box caused danger and it broke to Clarke who rifled a shot into the net from 12 yards. After a nervous period with the hosts pressing, Comrades sealed the victory a minute into injury-time. Adam Gray did well to get into the box on the by-line and was tripped by a defender, leading to the award of a penalty. Gray stepped up himself to take the spot-kick, but his effort was blocked by ‘keeper Devine. However, Andrew Mooney was first to the loose ball, firing it into the roof of the net from the edge of the 6-yard box.

Teams

Match Report

Despite ten changes from the side which had started against Newry three days earlier, Comrades secured passage to the second round of the ToalsBet.com County Antrim Shield with a third win of the season so far against familiar opponents Queen’s University.

After a quiet start to the match the first threat on goal came from the visitors in the 12th minute, when McKenna tuned and shot from 20 yards, forcing Richard Purcell to turn the ball wide of the base of the post.

The hosts had to wait until the 19th minute for their first noteworthy attempt which came from a well-struck Elliot McKim free-kick from 25 yards out that ‘keeper Devine had to tip over the bar.

Three minutes later Comrades took the lead. Curtis Woods got forward up the right wing and sent in a perfect cross to the far post where Andrew Mooney was there to head in comfortably from 5 yards.

The home side were now playing some good attacking football, but they were rocked by an equaliser on 40 minutes. The ball was lost in midfield and ended up being played through to Glackin who calmly slotted it past the ‘keeper from inside the box.

The visitors now had their tails up and looked dangerous for the remaining minutes of the half. They threatened again in the 43rd minute when Glackin surged into the box and beat his marker before hitting a fierce shot from 13 yards, which stung the hands of Richard Purcell who managed to parry the ball wide of the target.

The early period of the second half saw play evenly balanced. Comrades had a couple of chances in quick succession. In the 54th minute a neat flick from Eoghan Devine set Ciarán Dobbin free inside the box, but his resulting effort from 15 yards was kept out by a fine save from the ‘keeper. Then, from the resulting corner, Jason Johnston headed over from a good position 7 yards out.  However, Queen’s also looked threatening and on 56 minutes Purcell had to be alert to keep out a well-hit 25 yard effort from Young.

A flare up midway through the half, which saw Ciaran Heggarty, warming up substitute Tom Mathieson and an opponent receive yellow cards, seemed to rouse the home side and shortly after they hit the front with a well worked goal.  In the 70th minute Andrew Mooney did very well to hold the ball up on the wing and then feed Ciaran Heggarty who then managed to slip the ball through to Matthew Herron breaking into the box. Herron then produced a confident finish past the advancing ‘keeper from 12 yards for his first competitive goal for the club.

Three minutes later Comrades increased their lead. A well-flighted Elliot McKim corner to the back post found the head of the unmarked Andrew Mooney who nodded in from close range.

The host finished the game on the front-foot and on 86 minutes tested the visitors’ ‘keeper again when Matthew Herron surged towards the box and struck a good effort from the left side which had to be turned wide of the post.

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