No comeback for ‘Straw in League Cup semi

Thursday, 17 November 2016

ARDSTRAW crashed out of the NI Intermediate League Cup at the semi-final stage after going down to Oxford United Stars 3-1 at Vaughan's Holm on Saturday.

Ardstraw FC ...1
Oxford United Stars ...3

The North Tyrone men haveenjoyed a a terrific start to the year, but were defeated last week to local rivals Strabane Athletic, and were missing the services of key men Lee Warnock and Sammy McKelvey on Saturday.

There were only two minutes on the clock when David Healy pounced for the opener. The attacker met Seamus Cusack's pinpoint cross at the front post to head past Andrew Gailey.

Robbie Godfrey almost equalised for Ardstraw moments later but Gailey's opposite number David McGilloway was equal to the effort. The action remained as Steven Campbell then Derek Matthews both going close with chances in quick succession.At the other end, Lee Toland put Dean Curran into the danger zone but the ball was cleared by the Ardstraw defence.

The fast pace of the game didn't relent as Kristian Gibson forced McGilloway into a save, before the visitors next threatened the goal with Sean Mullan and Kevin Roddy chances.

Godfrey came closest to levelling the game but he fired a low shot just wide of the goal. McGilloway then had to spring to action to deny David Connor just before the break as the hosts went in one behind.

The second half kicked off with Oxford making the running before 'Straw began to heap on the pressure through King, Godfrey and Matthews.

The second goal of the game was going to very important as the game entered the final twenty minutes, and it went Oxford's way when a long ball from Fagan was converted by Healy.

Substitute Kenneth Williamson nearly pulled one back for Ardstraw but his shot hit the side netting. Healy then almost put the game to bed with ten minutes to go, but his hat-trick was denied by Gailey.

Ardstraw eventually opened their account in the 83rd minute when William Donaghy set up Derek Matthews to score, and the home side were now on the hunt for an equaliser. It wasn't to be however as oxford scored their third right at the death, Corey Hegarty playing in Emmet Hargan who rounded Gailey for goal number three.


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