Football: Killymoon Rangers hold title chasers Newtowne

A Killymoon Rangers attack is thwarted by a Ballysillan Swifts defender during Saturday's league clash at Beechway.INMM3814-381
A Killymoon Rangers attack is thwarted by a Ballysillan Swifts defender during Saturday's league clash at Beechway.INMM3814-381

Killymoon Rangers kept their recent run of good form going on Saturday with a well deserved draw at home to title chasing Newtowne.

With five enforced changes to the starting line up and seven in total due to injury and unavailability, it now leaves joint managers Brian McGarry and Derek Hudson with a few selection headaches.

The first chance of note in the match fell to Killymoon, Mark Montague picked out Shea ONeill, his shot was saved by the goal keepers out stretched leg.

Newtowne had a shot wide and Warren Smith was unable to get on the end of a cross despite a desperate lunge.

Gareth McElhatton was called on in the 13th minute, as Newtowne threatened.

A good killymoon move involving three of the four midfield men, Lee Hunter, Mark Montague and Dylan McElhatton came to nothing.

David Millar strode up field from left back, winning to tackles, before shooting wide from 25 yards.

On 27 minutes Killymoon had shouts for a penalty when the Newtown keeper appeared to clip Gary Greers ankle in the box, but the referee waved play on Gareth McElhatton made a good catch at the back post to deny Newtowne, and Warren Smith’s dangerous cross was cleared.

A killymoon attack down the left flank, with David Millar, Dylan Mc Elhatton and Shea O’Neill ended when Shea’s shot was blocked.

Shea O’Neill should have given killymoon the lead just before half time but was off target from a tight angle.

Killymoon Rangers with the wind, sleet and snow showers on their back in the second half, started brightly and had the better of the early chances.

Dylan Mc Elhatton won a corner from a Warren Smith pass, and a another Warren cross caused havoc in the Newtowne box with Shea lurking.

Shea and Warren were causing problems for the way defence, holding the ball up and linking with mid field or by running at them. Newtowne hit a free kick straight at Gareth McElhatton in the home goal, before Killymoon took the lead in the 55th minute, and what a goal it was.

The ball was knocked up to Shea O’Neill, who shielded the ball and rolled it back into the path of Mark Montague. Mark hit a great right foot shot high into the net from 25 yards giving the keeper no chance.

Newtowne were stunned and threw the kitchen sink at Killymoon.

Mark Montague making a goal line clearance a minute after scoring. Gareth McElhatton made a spectacular dive but unfortunately their were no camera men in attendance to capture the moment.

Mark Montague had a header wide from a Gerry Moore free kick, before going off and being replaced by John McGuigan. Newtowne equalised in the 66th minute when they converted a cross.

The game turned end to end Dylan McElhatton, Shea O’Neill and John McGuigan all having chances for the home team.

Gareth McElhatton made a great save on 69 minutes to keep Killymoon on level terms.

Gary Greer had a shot blocked for a corner, then Dylan McElhatton skinned his man on the half way line headed for goal, the keeper made a great save to keep the shot out, the ball fell to Shea O’Neill and his shot was scrambled clear.

Declan Campbell and Lee Hunter were working tirelessly in the middle of the park, captain James Leslie back at centre half, and sweeper Gerry Moore, were playing their part at the heart of the Killymoon defence.

A Newtowne free kick on the edge of the Killymoon box was finally cleared, on came subs, Stuary Donaghy, and Johnny Taylor, and Killymoon had a late scare when Newtowne hit the post in the 94th minute.

Killymoon held on for a well deserved draw and gave their joint mangers plenty to think about, when the absentee’s return.

Killymoon return to the Sports Arena next Saturday when they play Dunloy in a league match, kick off is 2pm.