Tobermore United 0
Limavady United 3
This was always going to be a big test for Tobermore against an in-form Limavady side who were sitting in second spot in the league.
Indeed Tobermore’s task was made even more difficult with the loss of several key players through injury and suspension.
That said, the main difference between the two United’s was the Roesiders player-manager Paul Owens who led his team by example from start to finish at Fortwilliam Park on Saturday.
The tricky midfielder, who had a spell at Tobermore a few seasons back, was involved in most of the visitors forward play, and although he had a superb game, he won’t be best pleased at the chance he missed half way through the first 45 minutes.
Limavady created most of the first half chances with Cathair Friel and Andrew Ferris also missing good opportunities to put the visitors ahead but just when Tobermore thought that they had weathered the storm center half Bryan McClelland got his head to a cross from the right giving Matthew McGraw no chance two minutes before the break.
Tobermore came into the game in the second half with Ryan Winton and Conor Deane both going close and they would have equalised but for a brilliant save by Paul Wells.
The former Red somehow got a finger tip to a goal bound Gary Donaldson header and touched it past the post.
Owens snuffed out any chance of a Tobermore comeback when he beat McGraw from a controversial free kick on 77 minutes and the hard working Friel got number three on the full time whistle.
Maybe 3-0 was a bit harsh on the home side but the Roesiders deserved their victory that puts them into joint top of the league.
Tobermore: M McGraw, A. Neill, M Harkness, P Keane, G Donaldson, R McCredie, S Glasgow, C Deane H Batista, M Curtis, R Winton. Subs: D Magee, C Kilpatrick, S Brown, T Parkhill. D Stewart
Although disappointment in the result it had no bearing on their league position as all 5 teams below Tobermore also lost but next Saturday’s game at Fortwilliam Park at 3pm against Wakehurst is another encounter which neither side will want to lose.
When the two sides last met, in early January, Tobermore came back from two goals down to win 3-2 at Wakehurst so they will be expecting another competitive game.
One bit of good news for the Reds is that Neil Lamont is back in training and the big Maghera centre forward is slowly but surely getting back into shape and he hopes to be ready for selection soon after almost two years out through injury.