Porter hat-trick seals the win for Athletic

Thursday, 9 February 2017

A FIRST half hat-trick by striker Aaron Porter set Strabane up for three points from this fixture against a determined Dungiven side.

Dungiven Celtic ...2
Strabane Athletic ...5

Indeed Strabane could have scored within the first minute after Henderson won the ball in midfield and played Taylor in only to be denied by the home keeper.

Strabane dominated the opening quarter, forcing three corners in as many minutes. An inswinging free kick from McKelvey was headed just wide by Graham and Carlin had a shot saved.

Despite the superior possession, it wasn't until the 24th minute that Porter his account, Crawford found Carlin who laid off to Porter who finished well.

Five minutes later Porter doubled his tally as he latched on to a through ball from Crawford.

From the restart Dungiven attacked and as a shot came off the chest of McElroy, Lynch was closest to stab home the rebound.

The visitors continued on the front foot and shortly before half time, Taylor was upended in the box and Porter dispatched the penalty for his and Strabane's third.

Athletic kicked off the second half defending a 3-1 lead but the home team upped their game and got more involved. Five minutes after the restart Porter came off injured to be replaced by Brennan.

On 55 minutes Daryl O'Kane nipped in behind the Strabane defence to reduce the home deficit to one goal. Dungiven pressed for an equaliser and after McNicholl shot narrowly wide, Aaron O'Hagan cleared off the line under pressure from Eugene O'Kane.

Strabane responded well to regain control of the game again and Brennan made a few decent runs down the right flank, Crawford went close as his goal bound strike was turned away for a corner. With 10 minutes remaining, manager Carlin brought on Aodhan Doherty and Oran McShane for Sean Doherty and Conor Carlin. This proved a fortuitous switch as a shot from McKelvey appeared to glance off Doherty before restoring Strabane's two goal advantage.

Doherty went close again as he headed a Crawford free just wide. In the last five minutes Doherty was involved in a slick move with McShane but his effort was was scrambled to safety. Strabanes fifth and final goal came in the dying minutes as Doherty found the net from just inside the box.

The game ended as it started with the visitors on top and worth the three points in a hard fought, sometimes feisty, contest.

Strabane Athletic: Ruari McElroy, Cal Ryan, Aaron O'Hagan, Ritchie Graham, Rian McKelvey, David Taylor, Conal Crawford, ConorCarlin, Aaron Porter, Gary Henderson; Subs: Shane Brennan, Oran McShane, Aodhan Doherty.

Dungiven Celtic: JO'Kane, K Smyth, J Fing, D McLaughlin, C O'Kane, D O'Kane, K Boyle, E O'Kane, C Lynch, K Dunne E McCloskey; Subs: C McNicholl, B Lynch, M Farren


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