In the thick of Storm Ciara, we suffered a 4-2 defeat to Irvinestown Wanderers on Saturday, despite leading 2-0 at one stage. It was a game played in awful conditions from the start and it was a real lottery who was going to come out on top in this one.
In the first half we played with the winds on are backs, but probably didn’t do enough to make this count as we only went in 1-0 up at half time. William Armstrong tried his luck from the edge of the box but his shot fizzed narrowly wide, and Ryan Lindsay came close with a header. We did take the lead when Kelvin McElroy raced through on goal, rounded Jerome Carleton and slotted home. At the other end, Sam McDonald made an excellent save to deny Caolan Ward from close range. Just one the stroke of half time, we forced several back to back corners but couldn’t force a second goal, one corner from Sam Lindsay being superbly cleared off the line.
In the second half, Ciara had upped her game and Irvinestown now had the wind in their sales so we knew we were in for a tough 45 minutes. However, only a few moments in to the second half we double our advantage. Chris Beacom collecting a long through from Ryan Lindsay, which he then turn and drilled a terrific effort in to the far corner giving Carleton no chance. Unfortunately, our joy was short lived as Stephen Sheridan fired past McDonald within a minute to reduce their deficit to one. McDonald then had to make an unorthodox save to preserve our lead, and Beacom was able to clear the danger. Indeed, we should have extended our lead when Aaron Lindsay was through on goal but this time Carelton was equal to it, and when the rebound fell invitingly for Keelan Flanagan he unselfishly squared to ball back to Lindsay but he just couldn’t stretch far enough and eventually the visitors cleared the danger.
We were made to pay, and within minutes the visitors were 3-2 up following goals from Joey Millar and Gary Maguire, again with the strong winds being a major factor as on both occasions McDonald lost the flight of the ball in gale force winds and rain. We then really should have equalised when Keelan Flanagan went through on goal and with Carleton all at sea, he needed to just hit the target to score, but unfortunately his shot drifted well wide. Irvinestown got their fourth, again with a helping hand from Storm Ciara as another set piece seemed to swirl in the wind and catch us out, leaving Sheridan a simple tap in at the back post.
A disappointing result, but encouraging to have five under 18s in the squad, and to see David McDaniel make his first team debut. We now turn our attention to what is sure to be an exciting encounter next week when we host neighbours Lisnaskea Rovers in the Mulhern Cup.