Cookstown 5th XI

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WITH the 5s still looking for their first win of the season they hosted an Antrim side who were only one place above them in the table.

Cookstown were perhaps guilty of showing a degree of complacency as they found themselves 1-0 down after 2 minutes. Some shambolic defending and the Reds failure to clear their lines allowed the forward to slot home from close range.

As clichés would have it, this seemed to waken the Cookstown players up and soon the midfield pairing of Donaldson and Acheson began to control the game. The Reds failed to make their pressure count as the number of Cookstown short corners began to rise.

A penalty stroke was awarded after 15 minutes when skipper, Crooks was brought down just as he was about to pull the trigger after a penetrating run into the area. What can only be described as a simply unbelievable save, denied the captain his equalizer. Undeterred by this setback, Cookstown kept the pressure on with the forwards continuing to win the shorts.

After numerous short corner attempts proved fruitless, the reds decided to mix it up a bit and a quick slip to Acheson saw the on-loan player rifle into the back of the net via a defenders deflection. The half continued with Cookstown on top and any Antrim counter attack was soon quelled by an impressive partnership of Barnes and Otterson who, along with Johnston at right back, have formed a good defensive relationship in the past few games. Half time: 1-1.

The second half saw Antrim come out stronger than they had finished the first, winning a succession of short corners for themselves. Both teams continued to push hard and it was Antrim who were celebrating after a neat finish from the edge of the box. Again Cookstown raised there game and put Antrim firmly on the back foot.

More experimenting with their short corners left Crooks at the top of the D performing the age old “Stop and hit” routine driving the ball low into the bottom corner. A truly magnificent strike by any standards. 2-2 and momentum back, strongly in Cookstown’s favour.

With only a few minutes to go, Cookstown were to be given one more excellent chance as some great play down the left and a superb ball into the area saw summer signing, Paul Hughes control the ball expertly to leave himself with only the keeper to beat.

Alas the resulting effort bounced feebly off the keeper’s pads and the ball was cleared to safety. Final score 2-2. A disappointing result considering the number of chances Cookstown had but the team showed good determination to come from behind twice. Thanks to B. Thom and A. Thom for umpiring.

Millar, Shearer & Black Man of The Match – Harry Acheson

Team – Adam Henry, Ross Johnston, Lee Barnes, Simon Otterson, Harry Acheson, Gavin Donaldson, Geoff Leonard, Robin Agnew, Marc Crooks, Jamie McWhirter, Paul Hughes, Gareth Thom, Brian Steenson.