Coagh go top with fine home win

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Coagh 3 Ballyclare 1

THE first twenty minutes of this match were fuelled with excitement and excellent end to end football The game started with Johnny Yorke making the first of a string of excellent saves he was to make during the match. A thirty five yard screamer from Gary Brown was turned over the bar by Yorke.

For the next three minutes Coagh came under pressure but when they finally broke clear they punished Ballyclare with a sizzling move. Jason Gillespie started the move with a long teasing ball to Glenn Clarke; the flying winger took the ball in his stride, crossing low into the box.

Clarke’s cross deflected off Anthony Hill’s outstretched leg onto Coagh’s Aaron Campbell, who had arrived inside the 6-yard box. Unfortunately for Comrades, the ball rebounded off the Coagh player and into the net for goal number one.

From the restart Coagh’s Johnny Yorke again came into play getting out of his goal quickly to clear well from Nicky Sharples. On the break Coagh should have made it two, Steven Park linked well with Mark Scott to get Campbell free but to be only denied by a fine block by the alert Ross Glendinning.

The visitors may have looked vulnerable at the back but had purpose going forward and, a few seconds after their double scare at the other end, Nicky Sharples saw a half volleyed effort from the edge of the box fly just wide off the target.

On the break Coagh made it number two after eight minutes. Cut apart by a breath taking pass from Aaron Thornton to Glenn Clarke, Clarke taunted the defender before firing in a low cross, which was met by and finished by Mark Scott from 6 yards out.

Action packed end to end football continued from the restart, Nicky Sharples shot over from a Scott Irvine pass. Johnny Yorke handled well from Andrew Simms free kick while a block from David Calderwood ended what could have been a goal scoring opportunity for the Comrades.

At the other end Campbell missed three excellent opportunities to put the match out of reach. The striker shot wide after running clear from a Thornton pass.

Moments later Campbell’s saw his goal bound shot turned round the post by Glendinning and Campbell missed a third chance again shooting wide from James Ferguson corner kick.

The disease of missed opportunities spread through the Coagh forward line like wild fire, Mark Scott shot just wide, Campbell missed two more, Glen Clarke hit the side netting while Jason Gillespie and Steven Park both shot over after going clear from two more sizzling runs from Glenn Clarke.

After a host of misses Ballyclare went on the hunt again. Coagh’s Steven Hawe showed composure under pressure from Mark McClelland to clear. Yorke made another top drawer save from Gary Brown; Andrew Simms free kick was bundled wide by Scott Irvine while Nicky Sharples headed over Simms goal bound shot which looked well on target before Sharples intervened.

Despite their efforts going forward, Comrades always looked likely to concede again and did so in the 27th minute, when a corner into the box was not cleared and the cool Jason Gillespie side stepped past two defenders to fire home goal number three.

The game may have looked over from a Coagh point of view but Ballyclare had other ideas and in a bold move they pulled off centre half, Aaron Holland and Stuart McCullough. On came Glenn Pierce and Stephen McDowell and the pressure on the Coagh goal continued.

Yorke got down well to save at the feet of McClelland and moments later he punched clear in a crowded goal mouth to preserve Coagh’s lead at the break. As expected the visitors bombarded the Coagh back four from the restart. Coagh’s McGeown, Hawe, Calderwood and Ferguson were working overtime to keep the Comrades at bay. On 52 minutes Johnny Yorke made the save of the match. Andrew Simms was awarded a free kick right on the edge of the Coagh eighteen but his lethal, powerful and well directed free kick was turned over the bar by Yorkes outstretched hand.

Ballyclare may have wondered how they were ever going to break down the hard working Coagh back line. Coagh lost Captain Steven Hawe through injury and in the reshuffle Lee Hunter came on along with Johnny Black who replaced Mark Scott and Mark Taylor for Campbell. Coagh continued to pressure for the latter part of the half but were caught flat footed a minute into injury-time. Gary Brown did well to dig out a cross from the right, which went over the keeper and was headed in from close range at the far post by Keith Armstrong.

A note should be made about the three young officials on duty today. Often we criticise the officials but neither team had any complaints today, all three kept the game moving, little stoppage and plenty of advantages that made this match one of the best to see at Hagan Park this season. Referee; Mr. I. McNabb, Newtownabbey Referee Assistants, Mr. D. Anderson, Mr N. Gibson.

Coagh have no match this week but return to Hagan Park on the 3rd December for a table topping clash against Queens. Kick off 2pm

Coagh United: Yorke, McGeown, Ferguson, Calderwood, Hawe, (Black) Park, Clarke, Thornton, Gillespie, Campbell, (Taylor) Scott. (Hunter)

Ballyclare Comrades

1. Ross Glendinning 2. Craig Reid 5. Aaron Holland (Stephen McDowell) 4. Stuart McCullough (Glenn Pierce ) 3. Anthony Hill (Philip Logue) Scott Irvine 6. Keith Armstrong

11. Andrew Simms 8. Gary Brown 10. Nicky Sharples, 9. Mark McClelland

Substitutes: 12. Aaron Ibinson 16. Gerard Bond

Veteran Creighton seals Coagh Win

Annagh Utd Res 0 Coagh Utd Res 3

AFTER last week’s good performance against Newry Res, Coagh were hoping to continue their recent good form in Portadown. Matty Kempton was the first to get a chance as early as the second minute when he fired over from outside the box.

Coagh continued to dominate early on and were rewarded with the opening goal on 12 mins, a goal mouth scramble was headed in off the post by Andrew Creighton. Annagh were forced into two substitutions through injuries, but they still frustrated Coagh from adding to their early goal.

On 35 mins an Ally Young free kick was blocked and from the rebound Young hit the crossbar with a good effort. Half-time 0-1

In the second half Annagh started to create chances of their own, a 20 yard free kick on 49 mins was well held by Graham McKenzie., Andrew Creighton was put through on 65 mins only to be upended by an Annagh defender, from the free kick Matty Kempton’s effort was held by the home keeper.

Two minutes later a great save by Graham McKenzie kept his side in front when it looked certain Annagh would score. On 73 mins a through ball by Stephen Glasgow found Kempton who crossed for Creighton to head home to make the game safe. Jonny Johnson who had just replaced Creighton did well to rob the ball from the home keeper to square for Young who failed to hit the target.

Coagh completed a solid performance with the third on 85 mins when Young flicked on for Johnson who gave the keeper no chance. The result keeps Coagh top of the Reserve Championship 3 points ahead of Loughgall. Next Sat 26th Nov. Coagh Res have a free Saturday

1. Graham McKenzie 2.Timmy Graham (McGaw 82min) 3. Phillip Stewert 4. Barry Anderson 5. Andy Neill 6. Robbie Allen (McGuckin 57min) 7. Stephen Glasgow 8. Clive Campbell 9.Ally Young 10. Andrew Creighton (Johnson 79min) 11. Matty Kempton.