Sat 22 Jan - 14:00 | Breda Park


McCaughan 29', O'Neill 72'


Ballyclare Comrades

Johnston 1', Dobbin 61'

Sat 22 Jan - 14:00 | Breda Park



McCaughan 29', O'Neill 72'

Ballyclare Comrades

Johnston 1', Dobbin 61'

Pre-Match Guide

The pre-match guide will show here 1 day before kick-off…

We travel to Breda Park tomorrow afternoon to take on Knockbreda in our next Lough 41 Championship fixture.

Match Info

When: Saturday 22nd January – Kick-Off 2:00pm

Where: Breda Park

What: Lough 41 Championship

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

The Opponents

Knockbreda currently occupy 9th position in the Lough 41 Championship, just one spot and two points behind the Comrades. Last week they travelled to Queen’s University where The Students collected a much needed three points with victory over Knockbreda at The Dub. Queen’s moved in front after 11 minutes when Leon Bonnes connected with a corner to head past keeper Lewis Deane. It was a lead they held until just before the break when Stephen Garrett levelled for ‘Breda. Queen’s regained the advantage on 79 minutes, however, courtesy of a Chris Middleton tap in following some poor visiting defending. Then, with five minutes remaining, Ciaran O’Hare made sure of the win, only the third in the Championship this season for Peter Thompson’s side.

The Comrades

Two goals late in the second half saw Institute come from behind to defeat The Comrades at Dixon Park last week. The home side needed just ten minutes to open the scoring when an Ian Fletcher cross deep into the box was only partially cleared allowing Liam Hassin to get to the ball and nod past John Connolly. Ballyclare could have doubled their advantage before the break when new signing Caiolan Brennan tested Connolly with an effort from just outside the box, before teeing Michael Smith up moments later to fire just over. Brennan was involved again just after the hour when he nodded the ball on for fellow transfer window arrival Ryan Arthur while Arthur himself turned provider soon after with a free-kick to the back post but Hassin could only head slightly off target. However, Institute levelled on 77 minutes when Brendan McLaughlin, who had come close a few minutes earlier, headed past Jack Ferguson. Then, right at the death, Mark McFadden knocked home what proved to be Institute’s winner with a fantastic individual finish with the last kick of the game. The result keeps The Comrades in 8th position in the Lough 41 Championship, while Knockbreda are only two points behind with a game in hand. Paul Harbinson is focused on using last week’s heartbreak as “motivation to fire us, Institute’s celebrations at the end has to hurt us and we have to go to Knockbreda now with a fire in our bellies and know that this is more important.”

Last Time Out

The last time these two sides met, The Comrades lost out by the odd goal in five away to Knockbreda. The home side moved in front after half-an-hour through Peter McDermott, a lead they held until just before the break when Liam McKenna levelled with a finish into an empty net. ‘Breda regained the advantage early in the second half thanks to Ethan Devine and went further ahead on 56 minutes when Karl Hamill knocked home number three. Joe Tully reduced the deficit midway through the second half from a Matthew Herron pass but Knockbreda held on to claim the points.


Match Report

Comrades had to be content with a point from an entertaining match against Knockbreda at Breda Park.

The game started in explosive fashion and Comrades were ahead inside the first minute. Owen McKeown was brought down as he attacked down the right and a free kick was awarded. Ian Fletcher then delivered the ball into the box and found Jason Johnston unmarked to head in from 6 yards.

A minute later the hosts came close to a quick equaliser when a cross into the box was met by a Nathan Johnston header from 10 yards which struck the bar with the ‘keeper beaten.

The visitors were not able to capitalise on their great start and Knockbreda were on the front foot for much of the first half. They had a chance in the 13th minute when the ball was fed through to Glackin who was free in a great position just inside the box, but he slipped as he shot, and the ball squirmed wide of the target.

The equaliser came on 29 minute and was gifted to the home side by a goalkeeping error. A corner was played into the Comrades box and Jack Ferguson didn’t manage to claim the ball, allowing it to drop at the feet of McCaughan who knocked it into the net from 7 yards.

Comrades had been quite going forward since taking the early lead and the only other real chance they had in the rest of the first  half was in the 42nd minute when Michael Smith got on the end of a ball over the top and then bullied his way past a defender to get into the left side of the box and with no other options available he shot from an angle, but saw his effort blocked by ‘keeper Deane.

The second half started with end-to-end action. Knockbreda came close on 49 minutes when McCaughan headed just wide from 9 yards from a corner. Then two minute later at the other end Caoilan Brennan did well to get to the by-line and pull the ball back to Tom Mathieson arriving in the centre of the box, but he skied his effort well over from 15 yards.

Comrades threated again in the 52nd minute when from a quick break up-field Michael Smith set Caoilan Brennan free to run in on goal, but a poor touch allowed the ‘keeper to gather as he rushed out.

The visitors were looking dangerous, and they retook the lead on the hour. Ciarán Dobbin broke out from a Knockbreda corner and linked up with Liam Hassin whose ball played across the box allowed Dobbin to sweep the ball home 12 yards to finish off a devastating counterattack.

The hosts almost grabbed another quick leveller three minutes later when they had several chances to finish during a mad scramble in the box, but eventually Jack Ferguson was able to gather the ball safely.

Comrades however remained lively going forward with the substitutes introduced during the second half freshening things. On 67 minutes they had a chance when Liam Hassin robbed a defender on the right and got into the box before pulling the ball back to Ciaran Heggarty who stabbed an effort towards goal from 8 yards which was blocked by Deane.

Although Comrades looked like they could increase their lead, they were then undone by a wonder strike from Knockbreda in the 71st minute. Former Comrades man Nathan O’Neill had just been introduced as a substitute and with his first touch he picked up on a loose clearance to hit the ball from 30 yards into the top corner of the net.

As time ticked away both sides strove for a winner, but neither could get a clear opportunity. The closest was in the 87th minute when a free kick played in from just outside the angle of the box by Ciarán Dobbin was headed over from 8 yards by Jason Johnston.


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