Wilson hat-trick sees Rathfriland through

A hat-trick from Ally Wilson helped ten-man Rathfriland Rangers book their place in round three of the Clarence Cup but they were pushed into extra-time before claiming a 4-1 win over Belfast side Ford.

In a bland first half, the closest either side came to a goal was when Thomas Lockhart’s shot cannoned off the Ford crossbar and down onto the line.

When Ryan Evans fired a great chance over the bar, it looked like it wouldn’t be Rathfriland’s day had but Wilson finally gave his side the advantage on 80 minutes when he curled his free-kick around the wall and past Murphy’s despairing dive.

Wilson almost turned provider when he gathered a loose ball and crossed it low for substitute Colum McComish who somehow put it wide from three yards.

Shortly afterwards, Rathfriland were reduced to ten men when Kieran McCourt received a second yellow for a late tackle, having already been booked for contesting one of referee Jim Shaw’s decisions.

With the extra man, Ford hunted for an equaliser and with the final move of normal time they scored when David Frazer headed in Manuel Donaghy’s excellent cross.

That fright brought a reaction from Rangers. They took the lead three minutes into extra-time when Wilson poked home after Aaron Cobb headed down Lockhart’s free-kick.

Wilson completed his hat-trick and secured the win five minutes later when he turned Colin Toal inside out and struck low into the corner from 18 yards.

And McGrath added a fourth two minutes into the second half when he chased Coulter’s long ball and fired it past Murphy.

MOTM: Ally Wilson.

RATHFRILAND RANGERS: Maguire, McCourt, Cobb, Murray, Weir, Evans, Coulter, Gibson, Lockhart, Wilson, McGrath. Subs: Gibson, McComish.