We suffered a disappointing 2-1 defeat against bottom of the league Omagh Hospitals on Saturday. Despite playing 70 minutes with 10 men, we really should have got something from the game. The opening period was fairly scrappy, although Robbie Little had a decent chance but couldn’t make clean contact. Then, the visitors went in front fairly early on. A corner was headed clear by Lewis Vance, but when the ball was crossed back in, O’Donnell had a free header from only a few yards out. He made poor contact and the ball bounced and hit the post and trickled agonisingly over the line. Moments later we had Sam Lindsay sent off following a ludicrous decision by the referee, who was poor throughout the game. Sam was shown a straight red card, which to say was ridiculously soft is putting it mildly.
After this though, we rallied together and dominated the remainder of the first half. Paul Elliott played a super pass to Paul McGrath who burst in to the box and weighted before sliding the ball across to William Armstrong who seen his close range shot well saved. Armstrong then returned the favour to McGrath, who also seen his shot saved. We did get the equaliser we deserved just before half time when Jamie Coalter slotted home from close range.
Unfortunately, we conceded early in the second half which allowed Omagh Hospitals to sit in deep and try to hit us on the break with their numerical advantage. We failed to create many meaningful chances, whilst at the other end Vance had to make a telling interception to deny a goal scoring opportunity. Jamie Coalter has a good chance, as did Chris Nixon when their keeper dropped the ball, but unsurprisingly on both occasion the referee awarded free kicks to the visitors. To rub insult in to injury, in the final minute Nixon played a superb defence splitting pass to release Kelvin McElroy through on goal but the referee blew the final whistle, which really summed up his performance.
But whilst the referee decisions had a major impact on the game, we must look at our own performances of late and work harder than ever to put right the wrongs from the last couple of games. With no fixtures due to so many senior players being involved in the Harry Cavan Youth Cup, we have the perfect opportunity to regroup and refocus and come back on the 2nd November with a home game against in-form NFC Kesh.