Coagh United 2 Ballymoney United 1
COAGH United squeezed past league rivals Ballymoney United to seal their place in the last sixteen of the Intermediate Cup.
United will admit that it was certainly not their most impressive display this season but they sealed their place with a 2-1 victory at Hagan Park. Ballymoney out played the home side for most of the tie and only for a man of the match performance from Johnny Yorke, Ballymoney would surely have progressed. However, football is all about taking your chances and United certainly did that. Mark Scott opened the scoring and striker Aaron Campbell continued his rich vein of form as he grabbed a crucial second.
Both sides lost players in the first half, a challenge on Glenn Clarke saw him stretchered off in the first minute while Ballymoney keeper Bryan Moore had to give in to a back injury late into the first half.
Ballymoney started the match forcing an early corner but from the clearance Glenn Clarke was caught from behind as Coagh broke and the unlucky player had to be stretchered off; Dale Noble replaced Clarke. The good news is that Clarke left the ground on crutches and the Coagh management will be hoping he will recover in time to play against Newbuildings in two weeks time in the Irish Cup.
The visitors continued to pepper the Coagh back line of McGeown, Anderson, Ferguson and Thornton and if they were not clearing their lines, Johnny Yorke was making the save. James Ferguson came to Yorke’s rescue, clearing from Liam Kearney and the same player was stopped moments later when Yorke got down well to clear his shot. Near the end of the half Aaron Campbell and Johnny Black squandered half chances. At the whistle a back injury became too much for the Ballymoney Keeper Bryan Moore. Moore had received two bouts of treatment during the first half but just could not continue.
Paul Keane replaced Moore between the sticks while Gavin Gilmore came into the midfield to replace Keane. Coagh looked stronger in the second period and got the opener on 50 minutes. A simple cross from Scott McGeown was headed in off the post by Mark Scott. Ballymoney had no luck in front of goal and three misses by Benny Megarry summed it up. The first Megarry shot wide in front of an open goal and moments later the same player could only watch as James Ferguson got back to clear after the Ballymoney player’s goal bound shot.
In a final run on goal the number 17 shot again wide off the target after finding yet another way past Yorke. Riding their luck Coagh finished off the match with another goal. Ferguson and Scott combined for Campbell to supply the finish. On 90+1 Neill Fleming got the ball in the net but it was all too late for the Ballymoney side.
This Saturday Coagh United have no fixture while Coagh Res travel to Newry Res in the Mid Ulster Res Championship.
Annan Athletic FC Chief Scout Kian Creighton and his brother Joe made the long trip over from Scotland last Saturday to take in the Coagh V Ballymoney match at Hagan Park. Annan play in the Irn-Bru Scottish League Championship 3rd Division and currently lie third.
Finally congratulations to Stuart Dallas on winning the Irn Bru League Cup against Coleraine. Stuart received a number of plaudits, including praise from new Northern nIreland manager Michael O’Neill after the game for his excellent performance.
Coagh United: Johnny Yorke, Scott McGeown, James Ferguson Aaron Thornton, Barry Anderson, Glenn Clarke (Dale Noble) Aaron Campbell Colin Donaldson (Steven Park) Johnny Black, Marcus Dallas, Mark Scott. Subs David Calderwood, Jason Gillespie Grahame McKenzie
Ballymoney: Bryan Moore (Paul Keane) (Gavin Gilmore),Lee McClelland, Kyle Buckley, Chris Wilkinson, Chris Getty, Liam Kearney, Francis McKenna Mark Gillan, Ian Christie, Gerald Gillan, Subs Neill Fleming Benny Megarry, Mark McKane.
Referee: Mr. Paddy McFadden