Sports

Doherty rocket enough to see off Ardstraw

Thursday, 10 November 2016

Doherty rocket enough to see off Ardstraw thumbnailStrabane's Conal Crawford pulls back for a shot.

A FIRST half strike from Sean Doherty secured three valuable points for Strabane at Vaughan's Holm against an in-form Ardstraw on Saturday.

Ardstraw ...0
Strabane Athletic ...1

Ardstraw kicked off and were quickly into their stride as Ruairi McElroy was called upon early. The visitors responded by moving the ball forward and this time it was opposite number Andrew Gailey who saved well.

The opening exchanges were competitive in midfield and on the quarter hour, Kristian Gibson had a free kick saved by McElroy. Ardstraw enjoyed a spell of possession now but couldn't convert and Strabane always looked dangerous on the break.

On the half hour, Crawford found Taylor with a neat pass, he in turn found Carlin who won a corner kick on the right. Porter crossed into the goal-mouth and the ball was forced out to the edge of the box from where Doherty struck directly into the top right corner of the net. Both sides then had a couple of chances but the one goal separated them as the half drew to a close.

Just after the restart, Ardstraw's Sammy McKelvey made a good run down the left but his shot was gathered by McElroy. Strabane started to take control of the midfield now, with Crawford and McKelvey proving formidable indeed. The visiting forwards were getting good service and Gailey denied Taylor after good work by Carlin.

Ardstraw then replaced Donaghey with Williamson but the Strabane pressure was relentless, McBrearty went close with a low hard drive from a free kick and Porter saw a good shot go wide after he neatly turned his marker. Taylor then shot wide minutes later after Ferry held up well.

Ardstraw next forced a corner but Henderson and Graham worked the ball safely into the final third. Strabane were now well on top, a decent strike by Carlin was tipped over by Gailey, Carlin then hit the post with a cross after McBreartyhad made a surging run from midfield to release the winger.

The visitors were first to everything in the middle, Graham played in Ferry who drew yet another fine save from the Ardstraw netminder. On 75 minutes Rian McKelvey had two free kicks in succession from 20 yards, one of which was tipped over the bar.

With 10 minutes remaining McShane came on for Porter. From a Doherty throw, the ball was squared across the Ardstraw goalmouth but forced safely wide. Doherty then sent in an inviting corner kick which was punched clear by Gailey.

In the dying moments, after Carlin had headed just wide, Ferry found the net but his effort was ruled offside and the game ended with the advantage to the visitors.

Strabane Athletic: R McElroy, R McBrearty, S Doherty, G Henderson, R Graham, R McKelvey, D Taylor, C Crawford, C Carlin, S Ferry, A Porter: Subs; S McGonagle, D Forbes, C Ryan, O McShane.

Ardstraw FC: Gailey, Connor, Mitchell, Mills, Warnock, Gibson, McKelvey, King, Godfrey, Campbell, Donaghey; Subs; Lowry, Williamson, N Boyd, D Boyd, Fusco.

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