Stalemate in local derby at Spamount.

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Stalemate in local derby at Spamount. thumbnail Strabane Athletic were held to a scoreless draw with Ardstraw at the weekend.

ARDSTRAW were the 'visitors' to Spamount to take on Strabane Athletic in the Intermediate League on Saturday, and both sides failed to make the breakthrough in a stalemate local derby.


Ardstraw showed their intent as early as the fifth minute when they were awarded a free-kick just outside the box. McKelvey took the set-piece but McElroy in the Athletic net dealt comfortably with his effort.

Just a couple of minutes later and the same player launched another effort from distance but this time he was not able to trouble McElroy who watched the effort sail over.

During the opening 15 minutes Ardstraw were on top with the better possession and more attempts at goal, but Strabane eventually began to find their fluid fast passing game.

Some good work from Conal Crawford resulted in Crawford playing in Aaron Porter. Porter was unfortunate when the Ardstraw keeper Jordan Newell made a wonderful save to stop his chipped effort finding the net.

Athletic began to grow in confidence and it was not long before they fashioned another opportunity. Conor Carlin found himself in some space on the left and he played a ball across the box and Conal Crawford was unlucky not to connect with the ball.

A couple of minutes later and the Athletic lads were on the attack again. Some crisp passing between Aaron Porter and Conal Crawford resulted in the latter finding the hard working Tom Carlin.

Carlin fired off a quick shot but once again Newell in the Ardstraw goal dealt with it superbly turning the ball away for a corner.

Dominant At this stage Strabane were dominant and were on top of the game but were just unable to find a way past the well marshalled Ardstraw back line and when they did they found the goalkeeper in great form.

Aodhán Doherty was the next Strabane player to try his luck. He made a great run from the right back position to the visitor's box, however the keeper made another fine save to deny the Athletic man.

On the 37 minute mark Andrew Sproule had a chance to open the scoring for the visitors. He found some space in the Athletic box and fired off a shot but McElroy made a fine save to turn the ball around his post for a corner.

From the resulting corner Strabane broke quickly and following some super play from Kyle Harte he found Aodhán Doherty but again Newell in the Ardstraw goals made a fine save.

As the first half was coming to a close Ardstraw broke quickly but a fantastic bit of tracking back from Conor Carlin resulted in the same player making a fantastic challenge to nullify the attack.

In the second half Athletic came out all guns blazing. A fine move between Gary Henderson, Aodhán Doherty and Tom Carlin should have saw Athletic open the scoring but once again Newell made a wonderful point blank save.

From an Ardstraw corner 20 minutes into the second half McKelvey fired a thunderbolt of an effort on goal but substitute Christy Gallagher got himself between the ball and the goal.

Both teams were unable to find the all important winner, and the referee sounded his whistle for the teams to settle for a share of the spoils.

For Ardstraw manager Ivan Sproule, his team is up and running with their first point of the campaign, while Strabane manager Eamon Curry may look at it as two points dropped.

Next Saturday, Strabane make the trip to Derry to play Trojans in the League Cup semi final, while Ardstraw travel to Ballyguddin for league action with Dungiven.


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