Tobermore United 1-0 Portstewart
Portstewart were the visitors at Fortwilliam Park last Saturday for Tobermore’s first home game of the season.
Matches between the sides usually a close game between these two sides and Saturdays encounter was no different with both camps very keen on a good start to this season considering the consequences of finishing in the bottom four next April.
The first half was a fairly even affair but Portstewart always seemed that bit sharper than Tobermore and home keeper Mathew McGraw had to be at his best on a number of occasions to deal with goal bound efforts.
The pattern was very much the same in the second period and as the half wore on it seemed likely that whoever got the first goal would win the game.
Former Tobermore players Lee Forgrave and Ryan Doherty, who had a big shout for a penalty kick waved away by the referee, keeping Tobermore’s defence on their toes with their quick breaks it would have been no surprise to see the seasiders nick a goal.
However, with about 15 minutes to go Tobermore brought on Ryan Marks and Caolan Doherty and almost immediately the home side began to threaten the visitors goals.
Marks, making his return to Tobermore after a couple of seasons away, brought the best out of Joel Madison who somehow got his fingertips to a 25 yard piled river to tip the ball over the bar and the nimble feet of Doherty was causing all sorts of trouble to the Ports back four.
A few minutes later it was the turn of another former Tobermore man, John Neill, to come to the Ports rescue when he was in the right place to clear the ball off the line from a Dean Brown spectacular overhead kick that had keeper Madison beaten.
Tobermore for the first time in the game looked the more likely to score and with barely two minutes left on the clock some poor defending gave Ryan Devine a half chance and the lively midfielder didn’t miss with a neat finish from the edge of the box.
This was tough on the visitors who will feel that they did enough to at least have a share of the spoils but it’s all about taking your chances and Tobermore will be happy to have the perfect start with two wins out of two.
Tobermore United: M McGraw, S Glasgow, M Harkness, N Murray, C Kearns, D Stewart, D Brown, R Devine, S Brown, T Parkhill, M Curtis. Subs: R Marks, C Doherty, C Deane, C Kilpatrick.