Posted on Leave a comment

Pre-Match Guide | Dundela 19/03/22

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.

Posted on Leave a comment

Welcome Stephen Small!

Ballyclare Comrades FC is delighted to announce the appointment of Stephen Small as our new Manager.

Stephen brings a wealth of experience to the club as a UEFA Pro License coach, most recently working as the UEFA Academy Elite Performance Coach. During Stephen’s playing days, he played at the highest level in the country, making over 400 appearances in the Irish Premiership and captained his Cliftonville side in 2002/03, before going on to become assistant player manager at the club.

Stephen will watch his new players for the first time on Saturday as we welcome Dergview to Dixon Park.

We wish Stephen every success at the Comrades.

Posted on Leave a comment

Pre-Match Guide | Dergview 12/03/2022

We welcome Dergview to Dixon Park tomorrow afternoon in our next Lough 41 Championship fixture.

Match Info

When: Saturday 12th March – Kick-Off 3:00pm

Where: Dixon Park

What: Lough 41 Championship

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

Match Sponsor: Beechview Developments

Ball Sponsor: Antrim & Newtownabbey Sports Forum

The Opponents

Dergview are right in the thick of top-6 battle, sitting in 7th position, just 3 points behind Ards in 6th with a game-in-hand. Last week, Dergview and Knockbreda battled to an equal share of the points and goals in a high scoring encounter at Darragh Park. The visitors moved in front after just six minutes through former Comrades forward, Ciaran Heggarty, but the home side levelled soon after courtesy of Jamie Brown’s finish. Tommy Canning’s side then seized the lead themselves midway through the first half when Matthew Kirk converted from the spot but Heggarty bagged his second of the game not long after the break to bring ‘Breda back level. And the east Belfast side thought they had secured the points when, four minutes from time, another former Comrades player, Liam McKenna knocked home their third with a low shot on the counter attack but, in the end, it finished honours even when Mikhail Kennedy scored five minutes into stoppage time.

The Comrades

The Comrades conceded a late sucker punch during the week as Conor Kerr struck deep into stoppage time to secure a point for Loughgall from Ballyclare Comrades’ visit to Lakeview Park. The visitors, playing under caretaker boss Chris Ramsey following Paul Harbinson’s recent departure, moved in front after half-an-hour under Liam Hassin. But their hopes of picking up only their second victory since the start of November were dashed in the 95th minute were dashed when Kerr popped up to equalise for the Villagers.

Last Time Out

The last time these two sides met, two goals midway through the second half saw Dergview defeat Ballyclare Comrades at Darragh Park. Scoreless at the break, Ballyclare came close to open the scoring on a number of occasions. Ciaran Heggarty flashed a header just wide early on before turning provider to tee up Gary Donnelly to send a 20-yard effort the wrong side of the target. Heggarty continued to be a threat, with another header coming from a Lee McCune cross while, early in the second half, he twice tested Dergview keeper Alan Buchanan albeit with no success. However, that all counted for nothing on 67 minutes when the home side moved in front courtesy of Cathal Farren’s successfully converted spot-kick. Then, just six minutes after that, it was 2-0 after a good team move teed Matthew Kirk up to beat Richard Purcell with a sublime finish.

Posted on Leave a comment

Pre-Match Guide | Loughgall 08/03/2022

We travel to Lakeview Park tomorrow evening to take on Loughgall in this rescheduled Lough 41 Championship fixture from February.

Match Info

When: Tuesday 8th March – Kick-Off 7:45pm

Where: Lakeview Park

What: Lough 41 Championship

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

The Opponents

The Villagers currently occupy 5th spot in the Lough 41 Championship. Last week Nathaniel Ferris bagged a second half double as Loughgall came from behind to defeat HW Welders at the Blanchflower Stadium. The Welders moved in front as early as the eighth minute when Michael McLellan rushed in to connect with a right-sided cross from Jonny Frazer to send a diving header home at the back post. That was how it stayed until three minutes into the second half when Ferris levelled after heading Tiernan Kelly’s volley from the edge of the area past Joe McGovern. And the visitors went on to claim the points with a second for Ferris four minutes from time after he met a corner to flick the winner beyond McGovern.

The Comrades

It was a weekend to forget for the managerless Comrades as Ards hit five past us at Clandeboye Park. Matt Tipton’s side opened the scoring after 16 minutes when David McAllister curled a cross onto the edge of the six yard box for Ross Arthurs to control and stab past Jack Ferguson. Daniel Reynolds added a second just after the half-hour mark when he fired into the roof of the net at the back post after a corner had been flicked on from the left. And it got worse for the visitors when they fell further behind just before the break. Reynolds turned provider with a low ball across the face of goal for McAllister to touch home at the left post. That was how it stayed until the 79th minute when McAllister doubled his tally from the left side of the area from Salou Jallow’s cross from wide on the right, albeit via a deflection off Ryan Arthur. Then, with five minutes to go, Eamonn Scannell completed the scoring after sliding in to turn home Benny Igiehon’s ball from the right.

Last Time Out

The last time these two sides met, Loughgall came away from Dixon Park with all 3 points after defeating the Comrades 3-0. Andrew Hoey opened the scoring for the Villagers after 18 minutes which was how it stayed until early in the second half when Jamie Rea doubled their advantage. Nathaniel Ferris then completed the scoring three minutes from time with a tap in from a Hoey cross. However, Ferris was sent-off not long after alongside Ballyclare’s Jason Johnston after the pair clashed.

Posted on Leave a comment

Pre-Match Guide | Ards 05/03/22

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

Match Info

When: Saturday 5th March – Kick-Off 3:00pm

Where: Clandeboye Park

What: Lough 41 Championship

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

The Opponents

Last week Ards and Dergview carved out a 2-2 draw at Darragh Park just a week after the venue was left underwater because of the recent storms. Matthew Kirk fired Dergview in front on 18 minutes with a successfully converted spot-kick but Ards hit back through Christopher Crane’s 30-yard effort into the top corner to level after half-an-hour. That was how it stayed until the 59th minute when Niall Fielding restored Dergview’s advantage with another long range strike but, as before, the visitors levelled soon after when Ross Arthurs turned home a header. The draw keeps Ards in 6th position, just a point ahead of Dergview who have a game in hand.

The Comrades

Ballyclare Comrades and Queen’s University battled to a 1-1 draw at Dixon Park with both goals coming in the first half. The home side came close to breaking the deadlock early on when an Ian Fletcher free-kick was headed against the crossbar by a visiting defender before, from the follow up, Michael Smith also directed his header against the woodwork. But Ballyclare did find a way through on 14 minutes courtesy of Kyle Beggs’ cross-come-shot which bypassed everyone to end up in the net. However the Students levelled just before the half-hour mark through Leon Bonnes after he got his head to a corner while, on the stroke of half-time, Fletcher was on hand to clear the ball off the line. The second half was a much less lively affair with neither side able to settle nor grab what could well have been the winner. The draw proved to be the last game in charge for Paul Harbinson, after a run of bad form over the last lot of months lead to the Comrades dropping to 9th position in the table. Club Captain, Chris Ramsey, will be in charge of all first team affairs on a caretaker basis while the Board of Directors carries out a recruitment process for a new Manager. Chris will be assisted by Adam McCart, Rob Murdie and Michael Higgins.

Last Time Out

The last time these two sides met, Ards swept to a 4-2 victory over Ballyclare Comrades at Dixon Park in December. Ards might have moved in front as early as the opening minute when presented with a penalty but Kyle Calderwood’s spot-kick was saved by Jack Ferguson. The deadlock was broken on ten minutes, however, when Ciaran Heggarty nodded Ballyclare in front from Ian Fletcher’s free-kick. However, two goals in quick succession midway through the first half tipped the balance in Ards’ favour. Conall McGrandles levelled on 21 minutes with a header from Patrick Cafolla’s corner before, four minutes after that, Ross Arthurs made it 2-1 with a finish in off an upright. Ards further extended their advantage just before the hour when Cafolla found the net but Ballyclare came back into proceedings on 73 minutes through Chris Ramsey’s header from Ashton McDermott’s cross. But Salou Jallow made sure of the points for Ards deep into stoppage time after rounding Ferguson to calmly slot home.

Posted on Leave a comment

Club Statement: Paul Harbinson

Ballyclare Comrades FC can today confirm that manager Paul Harbinson has parted company with the club by mutual consent.

We wish to thank Paul and his staff for all of their tireless work during their time at the club, and wish them every success in the future.

Ballyclare Comrades will look to make an announcement on a new appointment soon.

Posted on Leave a comment

Pre-Match Guide | Queen’s University 26/02/22

We welcome Queen’s University to Dixon Park tomorrow afternoon in our next Lough 41 Championship fixture.

Match Info

When: Saturday 26th February – Kick-Off 3:00pm

Where: Dixon Park

What: Lough 41 Championship

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

Match Sponsor: Metal Technology

Ball Sponsor: SM Plumbing & Heating

The Opponents

Queen’s currently occupy bottom spot in the Lough 41 Championship. With a lot of league games postponed last week due to the conditions, their last outing was away to Dundela where a goal in each half saw Dundela get the better of Queen’s at Wilgar Park. The Duns moved in front after 12 minutes when, following a David McMaster corner, some confusion in the box eventually ended with Michael Kerr getting the final touch to scramble the ball home. That was how it stayed until just after the hour when Spencer Beattie, a recent arrival from Ballymena United, slid the ball into the bottom corner following some good work down the right by Rhys Annett.

The Comrades

The Comrades also had last week’s fixture against Loughgall postponed due to the conditions. Our last outing was the 2-1 away defeat to Harland & Wolff Welders on the 11th February. Ballyclare started brightly and created a number of half chances during the opening exchanges through Kyle Beggs and Caiolan Brennan. However, somewhat against the run of play, the deadlock was broken on 28 minutes when Gary Lavery fired the Welders in front with an effort from distance which went low and hard under keeper Richard Purcell into the bottom corner. Then, on the hour, Jonny Frazer made it 2-0 with a sweeping right foot finish from just inside the area after Scott McMillan had crossed from the right. The Comrades pulled a goal back ten minutes after that. Brennan sent a corner over from the left which Jason Johnston connected with to head home at the back post.

Last Time Out

The last time these two sides met, Queen’s University took home all 3 points with a two-goal victory over Ballyclare Comrades at Dixon Park. 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.

Posted on Leave a comment

Pre-Match Guide | Loughgall 19/02/22

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

Match Info

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

Where: Lakeview Park

What: Lough 41 Championship

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

The Opponents

The Villagers currently occupy 2nd spot on goal difference in the Lough 41 Championship. Last week they came out on top of a 5-goal-thriller with victory over Institute at the Brandywell. ‘Stute might have moved in front on 13 minutes when Caolan McLaughlin was upended by Berraat Turker but the Loughgall keeper redeemed himself by saving Gareth Brown’s subsequent spot-kick. The Villagers moved in front just before the half-hour mark through Caolan McAleer when the wind caught his shot to squeeze it past John Connolly. Institute levelled nine minutes after the break with the second penalty of the game, taken this time by Ian Parkhill and dispatched into the bottom corner. Loughgall regained the lead on the hour following a well worked move down the right flank culminating in a close-range finish from Nedas Maciulaitis. Back came Institute to level for a second time when McLaughlin beat Turker with a great first touch and finish. But Loughgall responded to ultimately secure the points with eight minutes to go when the ball fell kindly for Alan Teggart after an initial shot had been kept out.

The Comrades

Last week’s 2-1 defeat away to Harland & Wolff Welders keeps the Comrades in 8th position in the Lough 41 Championship. Ballyclare started brightly and created a number of half chances during the opening exchanges through Kyle Beggs and Caiolan Brennan. However, somewhat against the run of play, the deadlock was broken on 28 minutes when Gary Lavery fired the Welders in front with an effort from distance which went low and hard under keeper Richard Purcell into the bottom corner. Then, on the hour, Jonny Frazer made it 2-0 with a sweeping right foot finish from just inside the area after Scott McMillan had crossed from the right. The Comrades pulled a goal back ten minutes after that. Brennan sent a corner over from the left which Jason Johnston connected with to head home at the back post. Paul Harbinson understands the task ahead of the Comrades tomorrow afternoon and said his side will “raise their own tempo, raise their own bar, challenge themselves and hold themselves accountable, as will we (the management team) and hopefully we can turn things around into points.”

Last Time Out

The last time these two sides met, Loughgall came away from Dixon Park with all 3 points after defeating the Comrades 3-0. Andrew Hoey opened the scoring for the Villagers after 18 minutes which was how it stayed until early in the second half when Jamie Rea doubled their advantage. Nathaniel Ferris then completed the scoring three minutes from time with a tap in from a Hoey cross. However, Ferris was sent-off not long after alongside Ballyclare’s Jason Johnston after the pair clashed.

Posted on Leave a comment

Pre-Match Guide | HW Welders 11/02/2022

We travel to Blanchflower Park tomorrow evening to take on Harland & Wolff Welders in our next Lough 41 Championship fixture.

Match Info

When: Friday 11th February – Kick-Off 7:45pm

Where: Blanchflower Park

What: Lough 41 Championship

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

The Opponents

The Welders currently occupy 5th position in the Lough 41 Championship, just 1 point from second spot. Last week, HW Welders came from behind to defeat Knockbreda at Breda Park. Former Comrades forward, Ciaran Heggarty, fired the home side in front with just under a quarter-of-an-hour on the clock with a half volley from just inside the area after the Welders defence failed to clear a corner. However, the visitors levelled not long after that when Jake Corbett swivelled and turned outside the box to send a great effort into the roof of the net. Then, just before the break, Michael McLellan knocked home what proved to be the winner with a low driven free-kick into the bottom corner of the net.

The Comrades

With no game last week, the Comrades remain in 8th position in the Lough 41 Championship on 32 points. Our last game saw us share the spoils with Ballinamallard United at Dixon Park in a game which saw the lead change twice. After a number of half chances at either end it fell to the home side to move in front on 37 minutes when Jason Johnston headed home after Kyle Beggs had delivered the ball into the box. It was an advantage the Comrades held until a couple of minutes into the second half when Callum Moorehead nodded past Richard Purcell to level matters. Then, on 64 minutes, Sean McEvoy edged the visitors into the lead with a well executed free-kick from around 30 yards low into the bottom corner. However, it again proved to be a short lived period on top after Andrew Mooney equalised for the Comrades with a left-foot strike from just inside the box after Caiolan Brennan had slipped him through on the left.

Last Time Out

The last time these two sides met, The Comrades staged a late comeback to recover a two-goal deficit and salvage a point from HW Welders at Blanchflower Park. The Welders moved in front on 38 minutes through Alan McMurtry who smashed the ball home from eight yards after receiving a low cross from the left. Josh Boyd doubled the home advantage on 67 minutes with a back post finish when the ball was played across the box into his path. But Ballyclare pulled a goal back just five minutes after that through Liam Hassin with a 25-yard effort into the top corner after a set piece was only partially cleared. And the Comrades secured a point with four minutes left on the clock when Matthew Herron found the net from Tom Mathieson’s cross.

Posted on Leave a comment

Welcome Andrew Whiteside!

Ballyclare Comrades is pleased to announce the signing of 20-year-old attacking-midfielder, Andrew Whiteside.

Andrew joins the Comrades from Lough 41 Premier Intermediate League side, Tobermore United.

“We’re delighted to welcome Andrew Whiteside to the club,” said Paul Harbinson. “He comes with a pedigree of having played youth international and with Coleraine FC. After returning from England, he is keen to get himself back to the standards he was at previously. Let’s hope he settles in and enjoys playing his best football for the Comrades!”

Andrew will wear the number 18 shirt for the Comrades.