DONACLONEY returned to league action on Saturday past with a home fixture against Glenanne United.
Cloney were buoyed by their impressive cup victory last week and hoped to continue their good recent form to collect a fifth victory on the trot.
Glenanne started the game brightly in the first half and seemed to control the possession and tempo of the game. Cloney did really struggle and had their keeper to thank as he made a couple of impressive saves to deny the visitors, as well as the post as a deep cross cannoned of the upright.
Cloney struggled throughout the half as the Glenanne backline set deep and Leckey and Knox, playing up front, failed to get in behind them. Knox was stopped by a last ditch tackle when about to pull the trigger.
Cloney’s best chance had saw Diven win the race with the keeper to a ball down the channel and saw his cross cum shot evade the onrushing Leckey and Knox as it flashed across the goal and out for a bye ball.
Gregson dished out some stern words at half time as the Cloney seemed to be hung-over from the previous week’s performance. However as the second period started Glenanne took the initiative as they took a deserved lead seven minutes in, with a quick break and composed finished.
This was the wake up call that the Cloney required and they started to assert some control over the game. Beattie snapped into everything in midfield and when Buchanan was found out wide on the left his first time volleyed cross was met by Diven to level the score within five minutes.
Diven’s finished was a well control left foot effort from 12 yards that left the keeper with no chance as he found the bottom corner with the half volley.
Cloney now seemed to be in the ascendancy as they controlled possession and pushed Glenanne further back. Unfortunately they failed to find any real clear cut opportunities as Glenanne defended resolutely. In fact Glenanne were unlucky on a couple of occasions when opportunities on the break were squandered.
Cloney had a number of corners which they could not force home and too often the delivery letting them down, and the visitor’s keeper never really being tested. In fact it looked like the game was going to peter out into a disappointing draw.
In the last minute of normal time Cloney did a smash and grab job. Camped in the Glenanne half a Neil McKinley deep cross was headed home by a Glenanne defender under pressure from Chris Shields for an unlikely and cruel winner. Cloney were able to see out injury time without any further problems.
It was a case of winning ugly and perhaps shows that the team has an attitude of never giving up. Thankfully the home keeper was on top form while McKinley put in a dogged shift at left back, but again Adam Beattie displayed battling qualities stood out. In all the result was lucky and Glenanne were unfortunate not to come away with anything that their play deserved.
- Cloney Reserves put in a battling display against to of the table Glenavy. Unfortunately they suffered a 2-0 reverse as their league woes continue. Cloney travel to play Portadown Casuals at Kernan Playing Fields this week while the Reserves entertain Richhill.