DROMORE Amateurs Youth U16s played host to Portadown’s St Marys at Dromore Community Centre on Saturday morning, hopeful of another win to keep them level on points at the top of the Mid Ulster Youth League table.
For the first 15 to 20 minutes Dromore were well on top, but failed to capitalise on a number of corners and free kicks in dangerous areas. They did however take the lead from open play, midfielder Andrew Compton driving the ball across goal from the right and finding lively striker Brian Lavery who turned his defender and slammed home.
St Mary’s though weren’t just there to make up the numbers and started to make a battle of it. The game started to revolve around the midfield area and saw a number of niggly challenges and at times the game threatened to boil over.
St Mary’s capitalised on this and drew level with a goal after 25 minutes, the scoreline remaining at this until half-time.
The second half saw the game resume the same way - of the three yellow cards shown two were for off-the-ball incidents. The game saw some bright moments - St Marys’ combative playmaker making a couple of dangerous runs through the Dromore midfield, and shades of Peter Crouch as Dromore’s Ryan Cunningham turned on a high ball near the edge of the 18 yard box and lobbed the ball goalbound, resulting in tension all round as the ball came down and agonisingly for Cunningham and Dromore, off the bar and into open play, a goalmouth scramble eventually seeing the visitors clear.
The score remained at 1-1 right to the final whistle, after which yet another card was shown for an off-the-ball incident, this time a straight red.
There were a number of good Dromore performances, notably man-of-the-match Keith McGuigan. Dromore felt though that a draw wasn’t enough, a team coach saying “We’re very disappointed. We felt that for 20 minutes we bossed the game through good football. Some of our players then got drawn into tit-for-tat exchanges and forgot about playing football. We know it’s tough in a game like that, but if we’d shut that out and concentrated on football we’d probably have three points and no red card. I don’t think we provoked anything, but some of us reacted and that’s what gave us problems. The squad knows this. We’ll sit down and have a talk and sort this out and next week we’ll get back on track”
Squad: Matthew Donaghy, Stuart Wilson, Connor Mallon, Robert Gibson, William McCutcheon, Keith McGuigan, Neil Cherry, Aaron McConville, Neil Herron, Callum Barnes, Andrew Compton, Ryan Cunningham, Brian Lavery, Ben Martin