Athletic defeated on return to action

Thursday, 8 December 2016

AFTER a few weeks of enforced inactivity, Strabane Athletic returned to competitive action with a visit to the Templemore Sports Complex to play league newcomers Maiden City.

Maiden City...5
Strabane Athletic ...2

Athletic were quickly into their stride and fashioned three good chances in the first 10 minutes of the game.

After two minutes Aaron Porter almost finished off a flowing move but his shot just cleared the crossbar. Minutes later Conor Carlin made a great run and crossed to Sean Ferry whose effort was smothered by the advancing keeper.

Ferry was then unlucky when he just failed to deflect a low cross to the net. Strabane paid the penalty for the early misses in the tenth minute when Christy Downey's deflected effort put the home team one up against the run of play.

City were boosted by this goal and had chances to extend the lead when Downey's shot was deflected over the crossbar and Ruari McElroy had to be alert to foil a good break by the home team's left back.

Luck deserted Athletic again in the 22nd minute when Aaron Porter's fine shot slammed against the upright. After ten minutes of fairly even exchanges disaster struck for the visitors when a defender slipped allowing Aaron Nash to slot past McElroy for the first of his four goals.

Strabane went in two down at the interval in a game which they could have been leading.

Athletic came out for the second half committed to attack in an effort to get back into the game. The half was to follow a familiar pattern with Strabane chasing the game and vulnerable to Maiden City's pacey attackers on the break.

The danger was emphasised early on when Downey chipped just wide. Sean Ferry teed up Conal Crawford for a shot which was just too high and Richie Graham was unlucky to head over from Crawford's corner.

The game slipped away from the local team after this when two breakaway chances converted by centre forward Aaron Nash left Maiden City with a four goal cushion.

The Strabane lads showed pride and fighting spirit to keep hammering away at the home defence and goals from Graham and Porter offered a glimpse of an unlikely comeback but this was stifled at the end when Nash capped a fine individual display with his fourth to leave the score Maiden City 5 Strabane Athletic 2.

Not for the first time this year Strabane were left to rue missed opportunities. They can take some consolation in the amount of opportunities they created but will ultimately need to convert much more of them if fortunes are to improve in the Intermediate league.


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