Honours even between Athletic and Trojans

Thursday, 19 January 2017

IT WAS honours even at Melvin Park when Strabane Athletic entertained Trojans FC in the Intermediate League at the weekend. Despite the lack of goals the game was a fairly entertaining affair with both sides enjoying periods of dominance and there was a good deal of action in each penalty area.

Strabane Athletic ...0
Trojans FC ...0

The visitors began brightly and forced a few early corners, while Athletic were slower into their stride but eventually forced a corner of their own with 10 minutes on the clock. After quarter of an hour Trojans produced a superb passing build up and Strabane Athletic keeper Ruairi McElroy produced two stunning saves to keep out a shot from Brian Mc Clean and an effort on the rebound from Aaron Rogan. 

The Derry side were certainly in the ascendancy for the first 25 minutes of the game but with Dylan Forbes and Richie Graham having solid games in central defence, chances were kept to a minimum. Around the half hour mark Strabane began to enjoy more possession and put together some decent build up play and from a corner David Taylor fired over the crossbar.

But it was still Trojans looking most likely to score and from Mc Clean's cross centre forward Jake Morrow hit a close range shot over the bar. The visitors finished the half strongly when Davy O'Brien shot wide and William McVeigh saw his header clear the crossbar.

Strabane came out for the second half having made some tactical adjustments and introduced substitute Kyle Harte. The changes seemed to add more urgency to the side and they had Trojans under heavy pressure from the restart.

A free kick was deflected over the bar and from the second of two corners the ball stuck on the Trojans' goal line but no Athletic player was able to supply the finishing touch. At the other end the visitors continued to threaten and Jake Morrow's glancing headers was wide of the post.

Kyle Harte was making his presence felt and when he received a nice cross field pass from David Taylor his shot was just too high. Gary Henderson delivered a free kick met by the head of Sean Doherty but the visiting keeper Eugene Ferry caught it comfortably. 

With Strabane committed to attack they were almost caught out when a long punt from the Trojans keeper was beautifully controlled by Mark Mc Laughlin but his chipped effort just missed the post.Mc Laughlin then turned provider for Tommy Mc Bride as Trojans enjoyed their best spell of the second half but again the winger's low shot was slightly off target.

As the players tired on an energy sapping pitch and fear of conceding a late goal haunted both sides, tempers became frayed and the referee had to produce a few yellow cards. Thankfully that was as bad as it got and the final goalmouth action saw a Strabane corner cause panic in the Trojans defence but it ended with a good David Taylor strike fizzing past the post.

So it ended with a point for each team and overall this was probably a fair reflection of the 90 minutes. Trojans certainly enjoyed the better of the first half but Athletic defended well, weathered the storm and created potential match winning chances in the second period. This week's fixtures see Strabane Athletic travel to face neighbours New Buildings United. Kick off in the village is 2pm.

Strabane Athletic squad: Ruairi McElroy; Oran McShane; Sean Doherty; Dylan Forbes; Richie Graham;Gary Henderson; David Taylor; Conal Crawford; Conor Carlin; Aodhan Doherty; Ronan McBrearty; Sean Lynch; Kyle Harte; Rian McKelvey; Tristan Roberts.


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