CHAMPIONSHIP 1: Comrades edged out at Loughgall

Ballyclare's Andrew Simpson scored and missed a penalty in the 3-2 defeat at Loughgall. Photo: Presseye
Ballyclare's Andrew Simpson scored and missed a penalty in the 3-2 defeat at Loughgall. Photo: Presseye
  • Loughgall 3-2 Ballyclare Comrades

A late Loughgall winner signalled a fourth Championship 1 defeat of the season for Ballyclare Comrades.

Ricky Copeland’s header, which arrived four minutes from time, was enough for the Lakeview Park men to move fifth - level on points with Bangor and Larne.

Copeland had got the ball rolling when he put the hosts in front on 21 minutes, heading home Rea’s free-kick with the help of the upright.

Loughgall’s advantage lasted all of 60 seconds as Andrew Simpson found the net with a guided volley from Micheal O’Hanlon’s free-kick.

But back came Loughall through Daniel Ryan who slid the ball past Ballyclare ‘keeper Jonah Nicholl to make it 2-1 with just 28 minutes gone.

Ballyclare kept battling and got their reward right on the stroke of half-time thanks to a Chris Trussell free-kick which beat ‘keeper Gareth Buchanan at his near post.

When home skipper Steven Ferguson was adjudged to have handled the ball in the box, Ballyclare squandered the chance to edge ahead when Simpson’s 61st-minute penalty was saved by Buchanan.

Both teams looked like they were heading for a share of the spoils but Copeland’s second of the afternoon snatched all three points for the Co. Armagh side.

Loughgall: Buchanan, Taylor (McMahon 63), Mallen, Copeland, Hudson, Walsh (Uprichard 81), Ferguson (Drylie 73), Dallas, Ryan, Mullen, Rea. Subs not used: Henderson, Dane.

Ballyclare Comrades: Nicholl, Brown, McDermott, McQuity, Wharry, McCart, Simpson (Johnston 85m), Dobbin (McClurg 76), Trussell, Dempster (Reid 63), O’Hanlon. Subs not used: Getty, Shannon.