Kilmore Rec 3 Killyleagh 2
THIS local derby and league game was always going to be a hard fought contest and from the whistle both teams showed their attacking skills in end to end probing. The first real shot at goal came when Kilmore’s Philip Traynor shot at the Killyleagh goal from 20 yards out but the shot was well sliced and flew over the bar.
But in the 7th minute, Traynor floated in a cross to the goal area and Peter Turley’s shot bounced off Killyleagh keeper Michael McKenna and Niall McCarthy made clinically sure with a solid shot into the back of the net.
McCarthy had looked fired up from the start and as Kilmore went up a gear in attack, midfielder McCarthy took another brilliant goal a minute later when Traynor again made a perfect cross for McCarthy’s header into the Killyleagh goal giving McKenna no chance at all.
Spearheading the attack up front were Kilmore’s Niall Murray and Philip Traynor but the Kilmore back line were equally on their toes closing down the Killyleagh attacks. Killyleagh did have chances in the first half and had a number of corners and free kicks outside the box with one appeal for a penalty. But just when Killyeagh were trying to fight their way back from a slippery slope, Kilmore struck again when Johhny Cheevers sent in a header past McKenna putting the homeside three goals up in the 20th minute.
It was looking grim for Killyleagh but Heron’s young side stuck to their guns and continued their attacking football. Darren Nelson made a terrific strike from 30 yeards at the Kilmore goal but keeper Nathan Curran made an equally brilliant diving save to deny him. But Killyleagh’s Barry Walsh didn’t miss his opportunity minutes later when he scored starting the come back for the visitors.
The Kilmore back line of Sean Bell, Phil Gill, Liam Sloan and Jihnny Cheevers were a formidible wall for Killyleagh to face giving no quarter in a tough but sporting game that produced four goals in the first 20 minutes.
But this was one match Kilmore did not want to lose following a 0-5 drubbing in midweek. Kilmore looked as though they had a scoring edge even tough Killyleagh were playing positive attacking football. Lee Morrison made a number of charges down the left wing for Killyeagh and Barry Walsh too created opportunities that could have led to goals. Darren Nelson in the 28th minute sent a peach of a shot just over the bar, and two minutes later, Barry Walsh also went just over the bar with McKenna well away from the ball.
Traynor was having a ball in the first half being involved in much of the Kilmore attacking action but Killyleagh too were not dead in the water yet. Lee Morrison playing well on the left wing sent a cracking shot just past the Kilmore woodwork.
As the first half came to a close, a few injuries took the edge off of what was a very entertaining first half with Philip Crawford limping off with an injured leg being replaced by Dale Davidson who was to transform Killyeagh’s revival performance.
Kilmore had a dream start as the home team going into a strong lead and the second half was in theory looking to be equally another belting 45 minutes of soccer entertainment. But as the whistle blew to start the second period, Karl Lewis and Niall Walsh had a nasty clash of heads and the match stopped for a few minutes.
It resumed into a scratchy affair with Kilmore having lost their scoring zest, and Killyleagh looking a bit unco-ordinated. Ian Mannus started to figure in the Killyeagh attacks.
But is was Dale Davidson who found a lot of space on the right wing who made a number of piercing runs crossing the ball which could and should have brought goal results. Killyleagh manager Dee Heron took of defender Jordan Kennedy and Ryan Boyle came on providing a fresh pair of legs in the Killyleagh attack.
Before long, the game settled into another spell of entertaining soccer with Killyleagh in the ascendency determined to make amends. Then it all started to happen for Killyeagh as Ian Mannus found space and broke through the defenders and sent a powerful shot into the top of the Kilmore net 16 minutes into the second half.
The match was looking as though it was heading for a draw but Kilmore were still attacking in spells and Niall Murray broke past the defenders and left footed a solid shot but McKenna stopped it with a tremendous diving save.
With 10 minutes to go, Killyleagh manager Heron sent on Davey Morgan to replace Lee Morrison who had had a good game on the left and the visitors continued to force the game on Kilmore. Despite Davidson creating a number of crosses the Killyleagh side grittily fought to the last. They certainly saved their reputation by being beaten by only a goal by a Kilmore side that had a full squad on the bench.
Kilmore Rec: Nathan Curran, Sean Bell, Philip Gill, Liam Sloan, Johnny Cheevers, Niall McCarthy, Karl Lewis, Steven Rogan, Niall Murray, Philip Trainor, Peter Casey. Subs: Mark Miskelly, BJ McMenamin, Ryan Montgomery.
Killyleagh YC: Michael McKenna, Jordan Kennedy, Jason Herron, Philip Crawford, Darren Nelson, Ian Mannus, Niall Walsh, Barry Walsh, Paul Mannus, Gavin Murray, Lee Morrison. Subs: Ryan Boyle, Dale Davidson, Danny Morgan.