Sat 19 Mar - 15:00 | Wilgar Park


Fyfe 8', Fearon 15', Annett 84'


Ballyclare Comrades

Sat 19 Mar - 15:00 | Wilgar Park



Fyfe 8', Fearon 15', Annett 84'

Ballyclare Comrades

Pre-Match Guide

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

Match Info

When: Saturday 19th March – Kick-Off 3:00pm

Where: Wilgar Park

What: Lough 41 Championship

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

The Opponents

Dundela are flying at the moment as the most in-form team in the league, with 4 wins and 1 draw from their last 5 outings. Last week, Dundela came out on top by the odd goal in five following an entertaining East Belfast derby with HW Welders at the Blanchflower Stadium. The Duns raced into an early lead when, around the ten minute mark, David Fearon finished low into the bottom corner from six yards following good build up play from David McMaster. That was how it stayed for the remainder of the first half until, not long after the interval, Scott Davidson levelled for the Welders with a looping finish over Marc Matthews. Then, five minutes after that, David Graham fired the home side in front from the six yard box after fantastic team move. Back came Dundela through Eamonn Fyfe just after the hour with the final touch over the line after Tony Kane’s free-kick caused all sorts of confusion. And Niall Currie’s side regained the lead – and ultimately the points – with four minutes remaining with Fearon’s second of the night, a fantastic long range effort which proved to be too strong for Joe McGovern.

The Comrades

Last week, the Comrades got back to winning ways as we picked up our first win in almost two-and-a-half months with victory over Dergview at Dixon Park. Under the watchful eye of incoming boss Stephen Small, the Comrades trailed at the break when Matthew Buchanan poked the visitors in front midway through the first half after connecting with a free-kick to the back post. However, Ballyclare levelled midway through the second half in somewhat bizarre circumstances. Awarded a penalty for a foul on Jason Johnston, Michael Smith saw his spot-kick saved twice but each time the referee ruled that the attempt be retaken after keeper Patrick McGarvey had come off his line. Then, at the third attempt and with a change of kicker, Ian Fletcher stepped up to bury the ball in the net. Spurred on by this, the home side edged into the lead on 77 minutes when Caiolan Brennan fired into the top corner from the edge of the box. And then, to make sure of the points, Kyle Beggs dispossessed a defender before squaring the ball for Liam Hassin to make it 3-1 with a tap in. The result keeps the Comrades in 9th position in the Lough 41 Championship, 3 points behind Dundela in 8th.

Last Time Out

The last time these two sides met, Dundela swept to a three-goal Friday night victory over Ballyclare Comrades at Wilgar Park. The visitors started on the front foot, enjoying plenty of possession during the opening exchanges but they fell behind on 19 minutes when Jay Magee found the net with a header from a corner. Ballyclare attempted to work their way back into the game with Liam Hassin and Joe Tully both testing Marc Matthews but the home keeper proved equal to every challenge thrown at him. Still trailing, Ballyclare upped the tempo after the break and came close early on when Tully saw a header deflected over the bar. Liam McKenna then connected with a Ciaran Dobbin cross but, again, this went over as did another Tully effort on the hour. Then, with ten minutes remaining, Ballyclare were awarded a spot-kick but it was an evening when Matthews was proving unbeatable as he made the save from Chris Ramsey. That proved to be a decisive moment when the Duns immediately broke down the other end and doubled their advantage through Jordan Hughes before, with three minutes remaining, David McMaster made sure by turning home number three for Niall Currie’s side.


Match Report

Stephen Small’s first game in charge ended in defeat as Comrades lost on the road to the league’s in-form side Dundela.

Right from the start the hosts looked dangerous and Comrades were relieved in the opening minutes when offside flags cut short attacks when Dundela strikers looked to be running in on goal.

The threat of Dundela’s powerful direct football was clear however and it wasn’t long before they took the lead. On 8 minutes a long ball over the top beat the visitors’ defence and allowed Fyfe to get free and slot past Richard Purcell from inside the box.

Comrades threatened for the first time in the 10th minute when a short corner routine saw the ball break to Caiolan Brennan who hit a well struck volley from the edge of the box which went wide of the target.

Dundela were still very much on top and continued to discomfort the Comrades defence. In the 13th minute Fyfe hit a firm shot on target from the corner of the box which forced Purcell to make a save. The ‘keeper could do nothing however two minutes later when Eoin Kane got free on the left to play a killer ball low in to the 6-yard box, where Fearon was there to finish with ease.

The visitors managed to stabilise things somewhat and avoid further damage in the rest of the first although Dundela remained in control.

Comrades did manage to do some attacking of their own as the half progressed, but the only time they troubled the home ‘keeper was on 30 minutes when a speculative volley struck by Liam Hassin from 22 yards forced Matthews to turn the ball wide of the post.

Dundela had a chance to add to their lead in the 35th minute when Purcell couldn’t collect the ball from a corner and Fearon bundled it wide from 6 yards.

The second half saw Comrades come out with a different formation and whilst they were to be more solid defensively in the second period, the host were still largely in control.

Dundela forced two saves from Richard Purcell early in the half. In the 48th minute a rasping 22-yard effort from Fyfe saw the ‘keeper well placed to keep the ball out. Then, four minutes later, he had to make a more difficult save doing very well to dive to send the ball around the post from a Fearon strike hit from the edge of the box.

Although Comrades were improved and getting forward more than in the first half, they found it hard to get behind the home defence. Chances continued to be at the other end and on 68 minutes Purcell had to make a great save as Fearon swept the ball on target from 10 yards having got on the end of a low ball played into the box.

Comrades were still clinging in with a chance of getting something from the game and they had a couple of chance to pull a goal back. First, in the 76th minute a good run across the edge of the box by Kyle Beggs ended with him poking the ball through to Adam Gray, but under pressure 12 yards from goal he sent his shot over the bar. Then three minute later Liam Hassin pulled the ball back to Kyle Beggs from a corner, but with the ball arriving to him bobbling on the uneven surface Beggs’ resulting strike from 13 yards lacked the power to trouble the ‘keeper.

With Comrades pushing up they were caught out on 84 minutes when a through ball set Annett free to run into the box from the halfway line, where he rounded Purcell and slotted home to seal a deserved victory for Dundela.


Match Reaction

Match Reaction