We made it three draws on the bounce as we drew 1-1 away to high flying Tummery Athletic on Saturday at a windswept Crawford’s Lane. Missing 6 key players we always knew this was going to be a difficult fixture, but we started the game fairly comfortably and went on to dominate much of the first half. In a changed line-up, Chris Beacom and Gareth Carrothers paired up at centre back for the first time this season, whilst Kelvin McElroy and Lewis Vance were recalled to the starting XI, with William Armstrong and Sam Lindsay deployed more centrally.
In the early exchanges, Lewis Vance and Sam Lindsay were linking up well and causing the Tummery defence all sorts of headaches, with Paul Elliott showing great composure upfront bringing midfield runners in to play. Vance made a great burst down the left out pacing their right back and getting to the bye line, but his pull back rolled agonisingly along the six yard line between Elliott and Lindsay, allowing a Tummery defender to get a toe in and nick the ball clear. We then forced several corners, Jordan Cadden swinging in dangerous deliveries with Tumnery clearing three headers off their own goal line in quick succession. The first was a fantastic clearing header from right underneath the bar after their keeper had got his fingertips to the ball. From the next corner, after a scramble the keeper punched the ball against his own crossbar and somehow Tummery cleared the danger. Next, a header from Chris Beacom was hooked off the line by Ryan Hanna with the keeper beaten. Minutes later, Beacom played in Sean Keenan and rather than shooting, he tried to pull the ball back across goal but by then defenders were back and Lindsay, then Elliott had shots blocked. We eventually took the lead when a Paul Elliott cross from wide left dipped just under the bar, giving the keeper no chance. Tummerys only shot on target in the first half was an Emmet McNabb shot from the edge of the box which was easily held by Sam McDonald.
However, in the second half Tummery equalised within five minutes. A corner was only half cleared and an Aidy McCaffrey shot was turned in by Gerry McCullagh at the back post. After this, Tummery enjoyed the lions share of possession. Cathal Beacom hit a thunderous free kick from 25 yards, and given the awful weather conditions, McDonald did superbly to hold on to the shot. Chris Beacom and Gareth Carrothers were kept busy in the heart of defence, with Carrothers making several keys headers and blocks. We worked hard in midfield with William Armstrong and Kelvin McElroy putting in a great shift, and Paul Elliott working his socks off upfront. Tummery were unable to create any meaningful chances but did come close from corners on two occasions. A tremendous performance, with the players coming in really excelling leaving the manager with a serious headache next week, which will be our last game before Christmas when we travel to in-form Irvinestown. A big thank you to all who brave the elements on Saturday to support us and we hope you get behind us in numbers for every game from now to the end of the season, every game is vital.