This bottom of the table clash was far from pretty. Both teams gave everything they had and this sometimes spoiled the football that both teams were trying to play.
The visitors came out of the blocks fast, pegging the home side back with Coagh’s Scott McCordick seeing his curling free kick punched away by Gibbons in the home goal while Steven Park shot wide.
Bangor got over the early goal rush and started to make chances themselves. A quick break from a Coagh attack saw Bangor’s Andy Hall go one to one with Marcus Dallas with the Coagh player standing his ground to win the Challenge 20 yards from goal.
It was all hands to the pumps for both sides as the play flowed back and forth. Tommy lambe and Andy Hall stretched the Coagh defence as did Scott McCordick and Jason Gillespie for Coagh at the other end.
On twenty minutes, the gates finally opened for the home side. Player Manager Garth Scates provided the long pass into Tommy Lambe, Coagh’s Johnny Yorke may be could have done better with the shot as the rebound fell to Andy Hall and Bangor were in front.
From the restart both teams forced the play, Andy Hall and Michel Doran came close as Coagh were forced to defend.
The game became edgy as both sides feared to give the ball away. Coagh’s injured James Ferguson gave way to Mattie Kempton on forty minutes but as Coagh regrouped it was the home side who had the better chances and they held on to take that precious 1-0 lead in at the break.
From the restart Coagh pushed to get back into the match but no one would have bet on the next outcome. From all of 30 yards a free kick from Scott McCordick that would equal any of Garths Bale’s best put Coagh back on level terms. His screamer by passed the wall and with Gribbons rooted to the spot it was again game on.
Coagh’s leveller only lasted a minute, from the restart Bangor’s Michel Doran ran clear to score from a terrible Coagh defensive mistake. Both sides again squandered chances from the restart but when Scott McCordick was upended in the box Coagh again had a reprieve. From the spot Gribbons dived to his left but McCordick had put just enough power into the shot to take his team level for the second time.
Coagh brought on Lamont for Glenn Clarke while Ryan Murry was added to the Bangor line up. Bangor and Coagh threw everything at each other and as chance after chance was missed you could hear the relief from both sets of supporters as the ball was cleared at both ends.
The excellent officials led by Andrew Davey added to this flowing game that had a draw written all over it. They allowed the game to flow at every opportunity maximising the chances for both sides.
With six minutes to go Coagh’s Jason Gillespie popped up with the winner. Scott McCordick supplied the cross and with the ball bouncing around the six yard box Gillespie got down to head in the winner. It was a very tense finish; Bangor had every player in the Coagh half for the final four minutes and the four the referee added on but Coagh held on to take a very precious three points.
With three matches to go, Coagh are far from out of the woods. Coagh travel to HW Welders this Saturday for a 3pm start.
The following Tuesday night 23rd April it’s the long trip to Carrick for a 7pm start while Coagh’s final match of the season will be played at Hagan Park on Sat 27th April at 3pm
Bangor: Darren Gribbons, Andy Long, Johnny Watterson, Dean Youle, Brian Hylands, Garth Scates, Andy Hall, Mark Cooling, Andy Morrow, Michel Doran, Tommy Lambe, Garth McLaughlin, Keith Armstrong, Johnny Bower, Dean Justin, Ryan Murry,
Coagh United: Johnny Yorke, Scott McGeown, Aaron Thornton, David Calderwood, Barry Anderson, James Ferguson (Mattie Kempton), Steven Park, Marcus Dallas, Scott McCordick (David Nicholl) Glenn Clarke (Stephen Lamont)
Referee: Mr A Davey, Mr G Argyropolus, Mr N Gillespie