FOOTBALL: Comrades’ hopes boosted by shock win over Bangor

Michael O'Hanlon for Ballyclare Comrades tussles with Bangor's Gerard McMullan at Saturday's Championship One clash at Bangor Fuels Arena.  INLT 44-675-CON

Michael O'Hanlon for Ballyclare Comrades tussles with Bangor's Gerard McMullan at Saturday's Championship One clash at Bangor Fuels Arena. INLT 44-675-CON

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Skipper Adam McCart was Ballyclare Comrades’ hero when he rammed home the solitary goal that defeated Bangor, and earned the club’s first away league win of the season.

The 1-0 win at Bangor Fuels Arena was the shock Championship 1 result of the day, and threw a spanner into the Seagulls’ promotion aspirations.

However with Institute, Armagh City, Dergview and Loughgall all winning, David Dorrian’s lads are still at the lower end of the table, albeit on goal difference, but another win could promote them to a top half position in a highly competitive league.

Dorrian made three changes with Jonah Nicholl, William Wharry and John Dobbin coming in for Gregg Shannon (injured), while Curtis Woods and Randal Reid dropped to the bench.

Comrades were first to threaten with Stuart King testing Johns, but when play switched to the opposite end Nicholl did well to keep out McMullan’s effort at the base of the post.

Bangor marginally had the edge but with defences on top there was little action in the danger area, with only a Samuel McIlveen effort that was saved by Johns, and an Andy Morrow snap-shot that clipped Nicholl’s bar on the way over, the only items of note in an otherwise untidy first half.

Despite losing Michael McQuitty, injured four minutes in to the second session, Comrades began to dictate, and Wharry almost broke the deadlock on the hour when his header crashed against the upright, and moments later Michael O’Hanlon following a solo run fired straight at Johns.

The introduction of Eddie Hill and Randal Reid ensured that the Reds continued to impress, and they were rewarded in the 80th minute when McCart pounced on a loose ball just outside the box and fired an unstoppable shot in to the roof of the net.

The hosts now piled players forward in search of an equaliser, and only a brilliant block by Nicholl in the 87th minute prevented Gibson from salvaging a point.

The pressure was now on Comrades, and a Nixon header flashed just wide, but they managed to hold out to collect three precious points.

Reflecting on the win Dorrian said:“It was a tight game, but I thought that we shaded it, and Adam McCart’s spectacular goal alone was worth the admission money.”