Football: Portstewart penalty breaks Coagh United hearts
Every Coagh player gave everything they had on Saturday against Portstewart only to be outdone by a second half penalty.
The only thing missing from Andy Smith’s charges was a goal but it was not for the want of trying as they pushed the visitors back for long periods keeping goal stopper Joel Madison busy for most of the match.
Former Linfield boss David Jeffery visited Hagan Park on Saturday and pushed his head around the changing room door to offer his experience to a Coagh side that had played well recently but got no return in league points.
Jeffery is no stranger at Hagan Park and is always a welcome visitor who likes to watch football at all levels and willing to share his experiences to help out.
On Saturday Coagh players started briskly forcing their first corner after two minutes.
Thai Blevins took the kick with Clarkes shot cleared out of a packed goal mouth.
Coagh continued to force the play through Todd and Blevins forcing a second corner in as many minutes but the visitors again scrambled the ball clear.
Portstewart’s best chance came after ten minutes when Lee Forgrave ran clear only to see Hassan in the Coagh goal stick a leg out to make the save.
As the game opened up it continued to flow from end to end as both sides looked for the opener.
Coagh forced three more corners before the end of the half with the best chance falling to Glenn Clarke but he just could not get his shot away.
Ryan Docherty opened the second half with a 30 yard lob going just wide of Hassan’s post.
Moments later Lee Forgrave’s free kick trickled through the Coagh wall hitting the post.
Coagh’s hearts were broken on the hour mark. Ryan Docherty ran clear but Heneghan slid in from the side for what looked like a clean tackle.
Unfortunately for United, referee Raymond Hetherington, who had an excellent game throughout, judged it was a foul and gave the penalty.
Hassan guessed the correct side but James Peden’s shot took the ball under his body and into the net.
It was all Coagh after this, Stephen Glasgow headed over twice, Thai Blevins shot just wide and Jonathan Young shot over.
Ian Todd and Glenn Clarke had shots saved while Stuart Forrest came off the bench to force Madison into another save at the post. In the end lady luck again eluded Coagh.
One supporter said Coagh could not buy a goal at the minute but if we can build on this performance surely we can turn this season around.
As is stands at the moment Coagh are rooted in the play off zone and their task for survival does not get any easier as the travel to Moyola Park for the last of this season’s local derbies. Kick off at Mill Meadow is 3pm.
Coagh United would like to thank Colum Mullan, Bathe NI, for sponsoring today’s match and Cookstown District Council Chairman Wilbert Buchannan for the match ball.
Coagh United: William Hassan. Garth Maguire, Scott McGeown, Stephan Hogshaw, Aaron Thornton, Sean Heneghan, Jason Ferry, Jonathan Young, Ryan Smith, Mathew Kempton, Andy Smith, Mark Taylor, Stuart Forrest.
Portstewart:Joel Madison, Luke Bradley, Ryan Campbell, James Peden, John Neill, Richard Vauls, Stuart Millar, Lee Forgrave, Stuart Docherty, Robert Donnell, David McClements, Johnny Stewart, Ryan McAllister, Dessie Kearney Darren McGeown.
Referee: R Hetherington.
Assistants: A Nethery, A Jeffery.