Reserves have perfect start to new season with vital victory in O’Hara Cup clash

RED STAR RESERVES 1

SCARVA RANGERS RESERVES 3

Scarva Rangers Reserves made the perfect start to the new season.

They faced Red Star Reserves in the opening round of the O’Hara Cup. The two teams hadn’t played each other before, although with the Armagh side gaining promotion from Mid-Ulster Reserve Division Four they have two league meetings to come this season.

It was first blood to Scarva as they emerged on top in Saturday’s cup clash.

There were few clear cut scoring opportunities in the disjointed early stages.

The first piece of quality from Scarva yielded the game’s opening goal. Andrew Boyce skipped past an opponent and an astute pass found Joshua Porter who struck a powerful low shot.

The keeper saved but couldn’t hold on to the ball and Matthew Millar reacted sharply to steer it into the net from an acute angle.

It was a short-lived lead, the hosts heading home to equalise ahead of the half-time whistle, and the scoreline was a fair reflection of an even first half.

Scarva restored their advantage with a goal early in the second half. Danny Cullen’s throw in was flicked on by Derek Patton and it dropped at the feet of Matthew Millar who connected perfectly with the ball and it rocketed past the helpless keeper into the net.

The game was evenly poised, with more chances for both sides than in the opening half and Scarva goalkeeper Alan Hammond denied the home side when an equalising goal seemed certain. It was a great save at a crucial time in the game.

It wasn’t until late in the second half that the third goal arrived for Scarva and they could start thinking seriously about the second round.

Freddie McKelvey unleashed a fierce drive from distance and the Red Star Reserves keeper could only palm the stinging shot into the path of Derek Patton who lashed it into the roof of the net from close range.

Best for Scarva Rangers Reserves – Matthew Millar and Ernie Hammond.