Coagh held to draw by Breda

Coagh 2 Knockbreda 2

COAGH and Knockbreda played out a draw on a windswept Hagan Park on Saturday. In a game of two half’s which the wind played a big part of both teams did well to entertain both sets of supporters.

This valuable point leaves Coagh seven points clear of the Championship 2. The Hagan Park outfit now have a break from league action and they will be hoping to continue their recent good form which has left them in an excellent position for possible promotion.

The tussle against Belfast outfit Knockbreda was certainly an entertaining one. Referee Eddie Ferguson had three big decisions to make and he probably got two out of three right. The first, a hand ball, saw Knockbreda’s captain John Burns get a yellow with the Referee sighting that the player was around 12 yards out but there was plenty of cover behind him when he handled the ball. The hand ball did stop the goal scoring opportunity so the penalty was given. The second in my opinion was a soft penalty given against Coagh’s Steven Park, Park tried to clear the ball but the Knockbreda player turned his back on him and went down. “Penalty given”. The third and final decision was when the Knockbreda goal keeper ran out and handled the ball close to the half way line to stop Coagh from having a goal scoring opportunity. The Referee again issued a yellow card sighting that there was too many defenders back for Coagh to have a clear run at goal.

Big decisions but the final result was probably correct, Knockbreda with a little bit of luck came from two goals down to level the game, and that little bit of luck swung in Coagh’s favour in the second half when Knockbreda rattled Coagh’s cross bar twice and combined saves from Johnny Yorke was enough to give Coagh a share of the spoils. Coagh started the match without skipper Steven Hawe.

The Coagh centre back had just returned after a three month layoff but a training ground injury on Thursday night will possibly see Steven out for the remainder of the season. This is a massive blow to the village side that have already lost Stephen Lamont for the rest of the season. Coagh started the match with the wind in their backs and should have gone into an early lead but Mateer made a double save from Scott and Park. Mateer was back in action saving from Gillespie while Scott McGeown headed over. On sixteen minutes the visitors made their first chance on goal but Chris Watters header was an easy take for Johnny Yorke.

Coagh finally made the breakthrough on 26 minutes. An excellent cross from Colin Donaldson saw Mark Scott score at the back post. Two minutes later the home side were two ahead after a hand ball in the box. Jason Gillespie stepped up to the spot to send Mateer the wrong way. The visitors were given a life line just before half time when referee Eddie Ferguson pointed to the spot after he had judged Steven Park had made the foul. Knockbreda’s goal stopper Paul Mateer made the long walk up the pitch to send the ball past Yorke.

The voice of the Knockbreda Manager echoed around from the Hagan Park changing rooms at half time and he rang the changes before the start of the second half. Off went Garth Cory and Daniel Hanna to be replaced by Mark Millar and Conor Corey and the new look visitors with the wind now at their tail went all out on the attack. Miguel Chimes was the first to draw a save out of Johnny Yorke while Yorke again kept Coagh in the match with an excellent one handed save from Mark Millar.

After an end to end encounter and after Knockbreda had rattled the Coagh cross bar they finally got the equaliser. Paul Young provided the cross for Mark Millar to head home. From the restart, Mark Millar rattled the Coagh cross bar while near the end Aaron Campbell went one to one with Mateer with the visitors keeper winning the battle.

This Tuesday, Coagh, travel to Loughgall for the Irish Cup replay. With no match at the weekend Loughgall manager Colum Malone took another look at Coagh on Saturday. The winners are at home to New Buildings on the 11th February. This Saturday 28th January Coagh are back home in the Intermediate Cup to Ballymoney United. Please note Kick Off is 1.30pm.

Coagh: Johnny Yorke, Aaron Thornton, Scott McGeown, David Calderwood, James Ferguson, Steven Park, Johnny Black, Colin Donaldson, Jason Gillespie, Marcus Dallas, Mark Scott, Glenn Clarke, Dale Noble, Barry Anderson, Aaron Campbell.

Knockbreda : Paul Mateer, John Burns, Stephen Corey, Jim McMenamin, Daniel Hanna, Steve Garrett, Chris Watters, Gareth Corey, Paul Young, John Foster, Miguel Chimes, John Clarke, Mark Millar, Tommy Burns, Conor Corey.

Referee – Mr Eddie Ferguson, Coleraine, Mr Mark Millar, Mr Barry Hotchkiss