We travel to Ferney Park tomorrow afternoon to take on Ballinamallard in our next Lough 41 Championship fixture.
When: Saturday 20th November – Kick-Off 3:00pm
Where: Ferney Park
What: Lough 41 Championship
Entry: Pay at the gate – £8 (Adult) / £5 (Concession)
The Mallards currently occupy 5th spot in the Lough 41 Championship table, just 1 point ahead of the Comrades. Last week, they lost out to Newry City who stretched their lead at the top of the Lough 41 Championship following a two-goal victory at The Showgrounds. Declan Carville opened the scoring for Darren Mullen’s side on 27 minutes when the ball was laid off for him to slot home unmarked from just outside the six yard box. And that was how it stayed until four minutes into stoppage time at the end of the game when Fra Brennan found Jimmy Walker on the edge of the area and he sent a low drive below Rory Brown into the net.
The Comrades’ poor run of form continued last week with a 2-0 home defeat against Queen’s University. Despite the eventual outcome Ballyclare enjoyed numerous chances during the scoreless first half with Queen’s keeper Daniel Devine doing well to deny Lee McCune, Liam McKenna and Ian Fletcher at various points during the opening 45 minutes. Queen’s moved in front just four minutes after the break through Matthew McManus who got his head to a free-kick delivered from wide on the flank to glance the ball past Richard Purcell. The home side attempted to get back into the game but, once again, Devine was equal to efforts from McKenna and Joe Tully. The visitors doubled their advantage, and made sure of the points, with just under a quarter-of-an-hour remaining. Awarded a spot-kick, Chris Middleton’s initial effort had to be retaken but Purcell saved the second attempt only for Middleton to ultimately find the net on the rebound. The result sent the Comrades into the bottom half of the table for the first time this season. However, the middle of table is extremely tight with only 3 points separating the Comrades in 7th position and Ards in 2nd position.
Last Time Out
The last time these two sides met was on the opening day of the season, when Ballyclare Comrades bounced back from going behind to record a comprehensive 5-1 victory at Dixon Park. Darragh Byrne opened the scoring for the Mallards with just over a quarter-of-an-hour on the clock when he cut inside on the right and fired into the bottom corner. However, Ballyclare responded immediately through Adam Gray with a finish from just inside the box before, three minutes after that, Joe Tully edged the home side into the lead with a six-yard header from Liam McKenna’s corner. McKenna delivered the set piece again a couple of minutes after the break for Ciaran Dobbin to extend Ballyclare’s lead. And Dobbin struck again on 54 minutes for his second of the afternoon, a strong strike from 20 yards. Andrew Mooney completed the scoring with 20 minutes remaining with a tap in moments after coming off the bench.