Scarva lose out in basement battle

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Scarva Rangers 1

Riverdale 3

With renovation work about to begin at the changing facilities at Scarva Park this Mid Ulster Division One basement battle was switched to Havelock Park in Banbridge.

Second from bottom Riverdale had triumphed when the sides met earlier in the season and repeated the feat in the return fixture.

Scarva came agonisingly close to taking a first half lead when Mark Baird was fouled close to the edge of the Riverdale penalty area.

From the subsequent free kick Greg Douglas curled the ball exquisitely around the visitors’ wall and it crashed against the woodwork with the keeper stranded.

The visitors also struck the woodwork and were later thwarted by a superb covering tackle from Greg Douglas.

Alan Hammond made a good reaction save when the ball was accidently played back to him by his own player. From the resulting corner the ball was headed against the Rangers crossbar and bounced down. The referee adjudged it was over the line and the visitors were a goal ahead.

They had to complete a goal line clearance before the interval to keep the lead intact.

Scarva went on the attack straight from the kick off and Greg Douglas’ astute through ball was just beyond Gareth Anderson’s reach.

A penalty award following a foul on William Morrison gave Scarva an opportunity to level matters and Greg Douglas unerringly tucked his spot kick into the corner of the Riverdale net.

That was as good as the afternoon was to get for the village side. The referee reduced them to ten men, Riverdale retook the lead, an injury meant they were down to nine players and the visitors further strengthened their grip on the three points with a late third goal. Best for Scarva – Gareth Anderson and Greg Douglas.