ON Saturday Dromore travelled to Carryduff to compete in the second round of the Clarence Cup.
Dromore entered this contest full of confidence having already defeated their opponents easily in pre-season, and being 3 divisions above them, the result seemed a formality.
Dromore started casually and were almost undone early on as a slip by McDonald led to the Carryduff winger crossing to an unmarked player who shot over the bar when he was well positioned.
This stirred Dromore into life and from the next attack Henderson picked out Coady with a terrific cross field pass which was superbly controlled with one touch and lofted over the keeper from 30 yards with the next. This should have been the start of a goal avalanche but a combination of a lack of composure in front of goal and poor final passes ended the half with Dromore only one up. The conditions were a bit of a leveller for Carryduff as passing was made very difficult with the poor under foot conditions. Full credit to Carryduff as they battled for every ball and at times seemed to have more desire to take control of this game. They eventually made a breakthrough as their striker smashed a solid drive from a free-kick into the top corner of the net, past the near frozen Beggs who had nothing to do up to that point. Carryduff sensed a cup upset and continued to pressure Dromore for a second goal. Dromore stood up well and started to have the majority of possession but could not seem to find a way through to goal with chances hard to come by. Dromore were becoming ever more desperate to get the second goal that would surely end this contest. Manager Smylie made a few changes and this had the desired effect with McConnell pouncing on a loose ball in the box to send a shot into the top corner to put Dromore back into the lead and settle their nerves. Dromore’s class started to show as they regained a bit of composure and started to find space to get in behind the Carryduff defence. A long pass from Downey released Coady into the Carryduff box who calmly chipped the advancing keeper with ease for what was a clinical finish. The inform striker then bagged his hat-trick with what was a comical goal. As the ball feel to Coady in the Carryduff box a loud whistle was heard from the neighbouring hockey pitch. Everyone stopped as they thought the ref had seen a foul somewhere, everyone looked round to the ref who shrugged his shoulders and waved play on. Coady reacted the quickest to round the keeper and calmly roll the ball into the empty net.
Job done in the end but it was a far closer game than everyone expected.
Team - N Beggs, K Walsh, A McDonald, R Downey, C Gilliland, J Wilson, S Haslem, N Allen, S Henderson, R Coady, M McConnell. Subs D Gibson, K Moreland, Josh.
Must do better this Saturday as Dromore travel to Newington Rangers who sit one point above Dromore in the league.