Seconds take points off high-flying Crumlin

DROMARA Seconds hosted high flying Crumlin United to the bridge on Saturday and earned a point but were disappointed to not claim all three with the visitors equaliser coming in about the sixth minute of nearly 10 added minutes by the official.

Crumlin had come into this game having won eight of their nine matches in the league so far sitting second with five games in hand on the leaders East Belfast.

Dromara were up for it right from the kick off and it was soon evident to the visitors this was not going to be as straightforward as it might have seemed by the home sides position in the table.

Gracey and Matty Rowan up front were proving a real handful for the Crumlin back four and they could have taken the lead early on when a poor clearance by the keeper fell to Rowan but instead of hitting goalwards first time he took a touch but was not able to get the ball under control.

The opening goal came when McCormack played the ball down the right and with the home defence claiming offside the referee waved play on; Gracey latched onto it and crossed for his strike partner Rowan but a defender rushing back to cover got to the ball first but it flew off his boot and of the crossbar into his own net.

Crumlin started to get their passing game going and Keenan and Collins in the centre of the park were working hard to keep them at bay. Also on the flanks McVeigh and Nathan Hamilton were working hard covering for the defence and getting forward at every opportunity.

They got a very good second goal when Hamilton played a great flighted ball over the top for the pacy Rowan to latch onto and calmly lob the advancing keeper.

This really rattled the Crumlin side and they raised their game again but the back four of McCormack, Cobb, Gareth Rowan and Kyle Hamilton were holding firm.

Just before the interval they nearly reduced the deficit when a forward broke clear but young Bingham in goals, who has been in fine form this season, pulled off a great stop to deflect the effort round the post.

The second half was going to be a tough 45 minutes for the home said as the visitors were pushing right from the off. They defended the first 20 minutes well reducing the visitors to shooting from long range, the first real threat was a shot from the edge of the box that hit the foot of the post.

Soon after this Bingham pulled of a great double save to keep his goal intact.

Things started to go wrong when first McCormack and then McVeigh had to come off injured and soon after Crumlin pulled one back with a disappointing free header from a corner.

Dromara were still looking dangerous on the break with Keenan powering forward from midfield and Gracey and Rowan still looking dangerous.

With the clock ticking down and running into injury time the final whistle didnt come and with about six minutes extra played a break down the right saw a cross not cleared properly but the striker latched onto it and rifled one into the corner from 20 yards. A real blow for the home side but probably a just reward for their pressure in the second half.

The referee still did not look like calling time and both teams were still going all out for the winner and in the last minute Dromara could have snatched it when Gracey’s flick on found Rowan but his shot from the edge of the box crashed of the cross bar with the keeper beaten.

Before the game Dromara would probably have taken a point but being 2-0 up and putting in another excellent performance were disappointed in the end, but gives some encouragament if they can keep up this level of performance.