Tobermore United 2 Kilmarnock 3
TOBERMORE United welcomed home former manager Kenny Shiels last weekend as he brought over a youthful Kilmarnock side to play Tobermore.
Shiels and former Northern Ireland international Jimmy Nicholl received a hearty welcome from a large crowd that gathered at Fortwilliam Park.
In a very even first half the visitors, playing typical Shiels entertaining football, took the lead when the impressive Chris Johnston put them ahead with a back post header on 35 minutes but Tobermore boss Oliver McAuley is gathering a good squad together and after a spell of good play Davy Patton levelled things up just after half time.
Both sides continued with attacking football and Craig Slater slotted home to put Killie back in front on 55 minutes but Tobermore came storming back and David McClements got them back on level terms 5 minutes later with the best goal of the game, when he planted a 25 yard free kick into the top corner giving the Killie keeper no chance.
Both managers made full scale changes to their sides giving everyone in their squad’s valuable playing time and although both sides created a number of good scoring chances it was Kilmarnock sub Robbie Muirhead who had the final say when he scored the fifth and winning goal with 10 minutes left.
Tobermore United ; P. Wells, L. Forgrave, S. Millar, G. Donaldson, J. Neill, D. McClements, D. Gardiner, S. Henneghan, N. Lamont, D. Patton, R. Doherty.
Subs: C. McKenna, D. Stewart, M. Hassan (GK), R. Dunlop, R. McAuley, R. Witton.
After the game Kilmarnock manager Kenny Shiels was full of praise for the home side.
“I was really impressed with the Tobermore team and their set up here today. Oliver deserves a lot of credit for the way he has them playing. It was a really worthwhile exercise for our young side.”
“I felt incredibly proud of the warm welcome we received on our visit and it was great to meet up with some former Tobermore players and colleagues from the past.
Tobermore boss Oliver McAuley was delighted with how things went in their opening pre-season fixture.
“Even though it is very early in our pre-season preparations I thought we did very well to compete with this young Kilmarnock outfit. It was a great day for the club, the players and the fans who came out to watch the game.”
“It was a great privilege to pit my wits against my old boss and everyone here at Tobermore really enjoyed a top class work out.”
Tobermore would like to thank match sponsor Restoraroof.co.uk, match ball sponsor racking & Shelving Ltd and pre-match meal sponsor Crawford’s Coffee Lounge, Maghera.
Tobermore have four more friendly fixtures arranged prior to the league starting on August 11th.
Saturday July 14th - Magherafelt Sky Blues - Fortwilliam Park -2pm
Saturday July 21st - Coleraine FC. Fortwilliam Park - 3pm
Saturday July 28th - Bushmills FC (A) - 2pm
Saturday August 4th - Ballymoney United FC (A) 2pm
Please note that due to the 12th of July celebrations being held in the village this Thursday there will be no training that evening but there will be tea & sandwiches, burgers, soft drinks, toilets and car park available at the club on the 12th morning. www.tobermoreunitedfc.co.uk.
Tobermore Mini Soccer Centre players entertained the crowd at half time during last Saturday’s game between Tobermore United and Kilmarnock
The centre is taking a short summer break and there will be no sessions on Saturday July 14th and Saturday July 24th. Sessions resume on Saturday July 28th in Maghera Recreation Centre, from 10am until 11am.
Players as usual kids should come along kitted out ready to play with shin guards and trainers, or boots, weather permitting.
The fun sessions are supervised by IFA accredited coaches and are open to all boys and girls of primary school age.
For more information visit www.facebook.com/tobermoreunitedminisoccer