Coagh slip to leave league title door ajar

Colin Donaldson scored Coagh's only goal on Saturday as they drew 1-1 with Ballymoney United at the Riada Stadium

Colin Donaldson scored Coagh's only goal on Saturday as they drew 1-1 with Ballymoney United at the Riada Stadium

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Ballymoney United 1

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A VERY disappointed Coagh United left the Riada Stadium with just a point after dominating for long periods. Continually missing in front of the home goal cost Coagh a crucial three points in the race for the Championship and has left them with a slim one point lead over Knockbreda with Coagh still having two matches in hand.

Other contenders Dundela drew with Annagh while Ballyclare were defeated by Wakehurst. Coagh may have matches in hand but cannot afford many slip ups in the run in if Championship 1 football is to return to Hagan Park next season.

Coagh started Saturday’s match on the back foot and this was probably the busiest Coagh’s goal minder, Johnny Yorke was over the whole match. Mark Gillian and Ian Christie taunted the Coagh back line for the first ten minutes but could find no way past Yorke. Coagh slowly got to grips with the big pitch and finally took control.

Colin Donaldson shot just wide after good build up play involving Black and Campbell. Campbell made brave attempt moments later but ended up being caught by Brian Moore’s fist as he punched the chance away.

The home side always looked dangerous on the break and Yorke had to save twice from Ian Christie. Coagh continued to dominate the first half and were rewarded on the half hour with a well taken goal. Ballymoney lost the ball during an attack, Coagh broke with Campbell, Black and Donaldson in a sweeping move which was finished off with Donaldson shooting from the edge of the box which came off the crossbar and bounced over the line.

Coagh continued to dominate, Dallas, Noble and Beckett supplied the crosses but Black and Campbell just could not find the target.

Coagh’s Dale Noble fired a whisker wide at the start of the second half as Coagh started brightly. The home side replied with a flowing move involving Gilmore, McGarry and Gillen with Yorke finally saving from a Mark Gillen shot.

Coagh again put the home side on the back foot but continued to fire blanks in front of goal.

Ballymoney got back on level terms 10 minutes into the half. Coagh lost possession in the middle of the park, Mark Gillan ran clear but was fouled in the box, the referee, Des Loughery played an excellent advantage and the ball fell for Gavin Gilmore who fired an unstoppable shot into the top corner of the net. From here on it was a one man show. Ballymoney’s stopper Brian Moore put on a man of the match performance to salvage a point. Moore pushed over goal bound shots from Donaldson, Black and Campbell. Aaron Campbell did have the ball in the net but was harshly ruled off side by the official.

In the end it was point gained for the home side and two points dropped for the visitors.

Coagh continue their run towards Easter with an away fixture to Armagh on Tuesday night KO 7.45pm then on Saturday Coagh travel to Annagh for a 3pm start.

Check www.coaghfc.co.uk for all Coagh updates or follow Coagh on Facebook or twitter.

Finally, congratulations to former player Kenny Shiels on his tremendous achievement in leading Kilmarnock to League Cup success. Well done from all at Coagh United FC

Teams

Coagh United; Yorke, McGeown, Calderwood, Thornton, Ferguson, Donaldson, Dallas, Beckett (Gillespie), Black, Campbell, Noble (Scott), Hunter, Glasgow.

Ballymoney United; Moore, Getty, Buckley (Kirgan), Wilkinson, Hill, Gilmore, McKenna, Doyle, Christie, Megarry, Laverty, Scott.

Referee: Mr D. Loughrey, Mr M.Miller and Mr M. McDaid