Football: Valiant Killymoon Rangers lose at home to Portstewart

BLOCK... Killymoon Rangers block out a Portstewart attack.INMM4313-328SR
BLOCK... Killymoon Rangers block out a Portstewart attack.INMM4313-328SR

Killymoon entertained Portstewart at the Mid-Ulster Arena on Saturday afternoon and despite playing some great football it was visitors who went away with the points.

The visitors started brightly with Forgrave putting in an early cross for Dunlop but the ball thankfully sailed harmlessly over everyone. Moments later a long throw came in from the visitors but Purvis headed the danger away.

Donaghy was the first from the home side to try his luck on goal after a good lay off from Harkness but his shot sliced harmlessly wide.

Donaghy nearly got on the end of a ball over the top form Young but Madison in the Portstewart goal was alert to the danger and clutched the ball graciously in his arms.

The visitors also tried their luck with a ball over the top but like his opposite number, home keeper Brown dealt with the danger with a great punch. At the other end Campbell put in a great cross for Harkness but the away side’s defence put him under pressure and his header went wide of the post.

Portstewart again tried a ball over the top but Brown was alert yet again to clear the danger with a perfectly timed challenge outside the box.

The visitors had a half-hearted penalty appeal after a tangle in the box but the referee awarded a goal kick instead.

Campbell found space on the right hand side to put a cross in but the ball hit the side netting to Madison’s relief.

Play stopped just after the half hour mark when keeper Brown had to be treated for an injury.

Play resumed but untimely the home keeper had to be substituted with Purvis taking his place in goal. McMullan came of the bench as well in a personnel change.

Shortly afterwards a miscommunication in the home defence nearly gifted the visitors a goal as Forgrave put in a cross for Dunlop who missed a virtually open net.

At the other end great link up play between Young, Donaghy and Harkness allowed Young to try his luck with a volley but his effort was over the bar.

Campbell put in another dangerous cross with Donaghy nearly getting on the end of it but the ball fell into the arms of the visiting keeper.

Against the run of play right on the stroke half time Portstewart took the lead. A corner on the right from Pedan eventually fell to Dougherty who somehow squeezed the ball into the corner of the net.

The home side had one last chance before the break with McMullan just unable to get on the end of McEllhatton’s free kick.

The visitors started the second half the brightest with Purvis punching a ball away from danger. At the other end Harkness had a shot cleared for a corner and McEllhatton’s resultant ball in eventually made its way to Young but his effort was cleared.

Moments later the Portstewart defence was caught napping and substitute Hunter took full advantage to tee up Donaghy. His shot was blocked but the follow up fell to Harkness but unfortunately it hit the side netting.

Dougherty tried his luck for the visitors but his effort was saved comfortably by Purvis despite a slight deflection.

Dougherty after a great run cut inside to try his luck from range but his effort was wide of Purvis’ goal.

At the other end the Killymoon’s clever short corner found Young who put a cross into the far post for Ferry but his header was wide of the post. McEllhatton’s free kick a few minutes later found McMullan at the far post who headed the ball across but the visiting defence dealt with the danger.

After good link up play between Harkness and Hunter, Donaghy shot from range but he was unable to get solid contact on the shot and the ball went wide.

Young fired a free kick wide before his corner found Neill who headed the ball across and although the ball was initially cleared, the ball fell kindly to Campbell who volleyed over the bar.

Dunn came off the bench for the home side and looked lively. He was able to create a chance for himself but his effort sailed wide of the goal. Purvis had to deal with another Pedan free kick and from the counter attack lovely play between Dunn, Hunter and Donaghy eventually enabled Harkness to get a shot away but the shot was blocked.

Ferry tried his luck with a long throw into the box but Neill cleared the ball away as the referee blew the final whistle.

Killymoon Rangers: Brown, Martin, Purvis, Neill, McElhatton, J. Ferry, Campbell, Young, Donaghy(c), Harkness, R.Ferry. Subs: McMullan, Dunn, Hunter.

Portstewart: Madison, Gawne, McAllister, Peden (c), Neill, Todd, Forgrave, Milliken, Turner, Dunlop, Dougherty (1). Subs: White, Taylor, Murray.

Up next for Killymoon is another home game, this time against Annagh United, with a 3pm kick off at the Mid Ulster Sports Arena. All support is most welcome.