Athletic put a dampener on Portstewart celebrations

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Athletic put a dampener on Portstewart celebrations thumbnailConal Crawford scored for Strabane Athletic on Saturday as they defeated newly crowned Intermediate League champions Portstewart 2-1.

STRABANE Athletic travelled to Portstewart on Saturday to fulfil their final league fixture of the season against a side who had already secured the trophy having been unbeaten in this year's campaign.

Strabane Athletic...2

The home side were at full strength as the league presentation was to follow the game but the visitors, with goals from Conal Crawford and Oran McShane, put a dampener on their celebrations.

The first half was a fairly even contest, after five minutes, McElroy pulled off a fine save from Vaulsand Carlin had a decent shot blocked at the other end.

Both teams had chances and Harte and Carlin had several shots on goal, indeed just after McElroy had made a fine save from Peden, Carlin had a 25 yard drive tipped over by Bronarz. As the half drew to close, McBrearty and Harte combined well only for the latter to shoot wide.

On the 44th minute Portstewart hit the crossbar but the ball was then safely scrambled away by McMenamin and Roulstone who were resolute in the Strabane defence.

The half ended scoreless, the visitors probably edging the balance of play having had more shots at goal.

On resumption, Strabane grabbed control of the game and five minutes into the half a Portstewart defender handled the ball on the ground in full view of the refand Crawford sent the keeper the wrong way as he dispatched the ball low into the bottom right hand corner.

The home team attacked from the kick off and McElroy pulled off yet another fine save. After 55 minutes, the visitors doubled their lead when, after a good move involving Doherty and Brennan, Oran McShane forced the ball past Bronarz.

Despite the home team trying to dominate the game, Strabane were always the more comfortable on the ball at this stage, they enjoyed some neat passing interplay and the back four of Ryan, Roulstone, McMenamin and Doherty kept the Portstewart attack at bay.

Strabane introduced Luke Hendry for Ronan McBrearty on 70 minutes on the left side of the forward line. The home team made a few changes to try and maintain their unbeaten record and with three minutes remaining, substitute Jonny Stewart hit a wonderful strike from the left hand side of the box to reduce the arrears.

As the final whistle went Strabane were able to look back on a job well done, they thoroughly deserved the result, and as the league champions received their medals, the visitors could only reflect on what might have been, but the future bodes well for this young squad.

SAFC: R McElroy, A Doherty, C Ryan, J Roulstone, L McMenamin, O McShane, S Brennan, C Crawford, C Carlin, K Harte, R McBrearty. Sub; L Hendry

P'Stewart: Bronarz, Forgrave, Stypulowski, Steele, Neill, Peden, McClements, Heneghan, Quigg, Vauls, Doherty. Subs; Doherty, Stewart, Rohoich, Gault, Turner, Pollock.




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