Belfast & District League Premier Division
On a wet and windy day at Mallusk St Matt’s got the result they needed to put them back on top of the league.
Goalkeeper Sean Turley, making his debut for the club, was forced to pull off two outstanding saves early on before St Matt’s went in front when Patrick Turley freed Steven Black to slot home against the run of play.
Soon after a chance fell to Conor Burns and although his effort was saved St Matt’s did extend their lead with two minutes of the half remaining when Joe Murdock’s cross was headed home by Ciaran Boyle.
Tony Catney created the first chance of the second half for Black but his shot went over the bar while Boyle was denied by another great save.
With time running out Michael McVeigh, Les McCrory and manager Shields, making a cameo appearance, entered the fray. The last chance of the game fell to Catney who deserved a goal after his man of the match performance only to see his shot cleared off the line.
St Matt’s have a cup game this weekend with Tullymore Swifts.
ST MATT’S: S Turley, L Pollock, S Fitzsimons, P Turley, J Murdock, T Catney, K Curran, C Burns, S Napier, S Black, C Boyle. Subs: L Shields, M McVeigh, L McCrory.
St Matt’s II 0
Bhean Mhadigan 2
This scoreline didn’t reflect the game as St Matt’s dominated for large parts only for missed chances to come back to haunt them.
Sean O’Kane released Declan Bassett but his shot went wide of the post while at the other end Smyth and Hargey, who had defended stoutly, were left frustrated by a goal, which seemed to connect with a hand in the build up.
In the second half Moylan and McManus got a hold of the game and with time running out manager Walsh brought on Gary Quinn, Paul Smyth and Ryan Moylan.
Immediately the subs combined with Smyth sending in a great cross for Quinn but his header hit the post.
Minutes later captain JM Ward got his head to a long punt up field from keeper Meighan to send sub Moylan through only for his shot to be brilliantly saved.
In the closing stages Bhean Mhadigan caught St Matt’s on the break to kill the game off.
ST MATTHEW’S: C Meighan, S O'Kane, P Smyth, C Hargey, T Ward, D Bassett, D Moylan, C McManus, A Meighan, S McMahon, JM Ward (c). Subs: G Quinn, R Moylan, P Smyth.