Tobermore leapfrog Coagh in Christmas derby encounter

Coagh got a reality check and are now firmly in trouble in the relegation zone after Tobermore leap-frogged them in the league standings.

With around eight players out due to work commitments, suspensions and injuries, Coagh had too many players out of position which affected the balance of the side while a rejuvenated Tobermore side had to start without a couple of regulars after they were dismissed at the Killymoon match last week.

As expected the match started at full steam. The visitors took control early on forcing five corners but they could find no way past the excellent Johnny Yorke.

At the other end William Hassan, son of ex-Coagh favourite Kyle, was also kept busy as the home side came into the match, but with both sets of forwards firing blanks the sides went in level at half time.

Tobermore were fast out of the blocks in the second period of play and must have thought Santa had come early after they opened the score on forty seven minutes. A quick throw in caught Coagh napping leaving Lee Forgrave free to bundle the ball over the line after Yorke had made the initial save.

Now on the front foot, the visitors pushed Coagh back. Ryan Doherty should have made it two but his shot was deflected over for the visitors’ tenth corner of the match.

The home side huffed and puffed as Tobermore again caught them napping. A clearance from Donaldson found Lamont free and his pass to the unmarked Doherty saw the player roll the ball under Johnny Yorke’s body for number two.

Tobermore must have believed their task complete as they sat back and defended but this only let the home side back into the match. From the penalty spot Jason Gillespie gave Coagh hope after sending the keeper the wrong way and when Scott McCordick levelled things up it looked like Coagh would get something out of this match.

Coagh’s Mark Taylor came on for Aaron Campbell and the substitute could have put the home side ahead. Scott McCordick rattled the wood work with a shot on the turn while Hassan in the visitors’ goal saved his side blushes with a one-on-one save against Scott McGeown.

With the clock ticking down the visitors pulled the points out of the bag when Kevin Lynch headed home the winner.

Coagh United: Yorke, Thornton, Ferguson, Calderwood, McGeown, Park, McCordick, Clarke, Kempton, Gillespie Campbell,(Taylor) BJ Lees, Neill.

Tobermore United: Hassan, McKenna, Winton, Donaldson, Neill, McClements, Forgrave, Henneghan, Lamont, Lynch, Doherty, Henry, Graham, Drennan, Stewart, M. Hassan

Referee: Mr P McFadden Londonderry, Mr P Robinson Killyman, Mr. Chris Morrow, Omagh.

Congratulations should go to the Coagh United ground staff on the condition of the pitch after the heavy rain on Friday and Saturday morning.

A quick pitch inspection by Referee Paddy McFadden and his staff confirmed that this big derby match would go ahead.

After ninety minutes of hard fought football the Referee revealed that he was impressed how the ground held up and it could have played another match straight away.

Coagh United would like to thank Norman Wright Garden Supplies for sponsoring the match.

Things don’t get any easier for Coagh as they look for much needed points. On Saturday December 29, Coagh welcome Loughgall to Hagan Park for a 2pm start. Lying sixth Loughgall will be looking to improve after a shaky start to the season while Coagh just need to start scoring to get them back on track in the very competitive Championship One.

The Chairman, Committee, Management and players would like to wish all their faithful supporters and everyone a very merry Christmas and a Happy and peaceful New Year.

We look forward to welcoming you all out at Hagan Park to support the village team over the festive period.

New Year’s Eve in the Club House is not to be missed; there is a great night’s craic in store with a piper laid on for the midnight celebration.

Coagh start the New Year away to Ballynahinch United in the Intermediate Cup on January 5. This is followed by Coagh’s Irish Cup match away to Lisburn Distillery on January 15.