FOOTBALL: Wee Reds put eleven past Desertmartin

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Ballyclare Comrades Reserves goalkeeper Paddy Flood was a virtual spectator as the floodgates opened at the opposite end, as Desertmartin Swifts were thrashed 11-0, writes George Brown.

Jason Johnston was the hat-trick hero in Saturday’s Canada Trophy first-round tie at Antrim Forum where the Wee Reds scored half-a-dozen in the first half, before adding another five after the break.

Assistant-manager Andrew Higginson’s squad was boosted by the inclusion of Stuart McCullough, Denver Taggart, Johnston and Flood who were all ineligible to play in the senior side’s Intermediate Cup match, and it was one-way traffic all afternoon.

Scott Cummings, Kyle Woods and Johnston had the spot in the second round booked during the opening quarter when they all scored, before Adam McCauley made it 4-0 with a marvellous shot from well outside the box.

Gregg McFaul got on the scorecard with a blistering shot that flew into the net via the underside of the bar and Johnston made it 6-0 when he drilled a free-kick into the net.

There was no let-up after the break with Woods doubling his tally and Johnston completing his hat-trick before the hour.

Manager Ronnie Burns came off the bench to score number nine, before Ryan Burke scored the most spectacular goal of the afternoon with a rocket from 30 yards that tested the rigging, and Cummings duly completed the whitewash from the penalty spot after Woods had been fouled.

“With some experienced players we were awesome today,“ said Higginson.

“Desertmartin had a couple of very good players, but everything went right for us, with Paddy Flood scarcely having a touch,” he added.

Comrades Reserves: Flood; A McCauley, McCullough, Davidson, K McCauley (C); McFaul, Johnston, Burke, Taggart; Cummings, K Woods.

On Saturday the Reserves resume their Ballymena Junior League Division 1 programme with an away fixture against Carnmoney.