McKee: Pressure will be on McCullough’s UUJ in derby

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Amateur League, Division 1A: Barn United have found some league form with two home draws now followed by two away wins. The Carrick boys came from two down inside nine minutes, to beat Dunmurry Rec 3-2 at Ashley Park on Saturday. Mark Tweedie, Matt McDonald and Keith Anderson got their goals.

And it sets things up nicely for Saturday’s battle with bottom club UUJ at Haslett Park.

Barn’s assistant-manager Robert McKee suggests: “The pressure is all on UUJ. A win this weekend would put us 10 points clear of them, even though they’ve got two games in hand.

“On Saturday we recovered from that poor start, including an early own goal from Paul Mathers, and we should have won by more. But two down after nine minutes, this Barn team just doesn’t give up. Things are going really well for us at the minute, the spirit in the camp is good and now we’re starting to get the results we deserve.”

On Saturday, UUJ were in Clarence Cup action, but gave more than a good account of themselves before going down 4-2 to newly-crowned Border Regiment Cup winners and unbeaten Premier Division leaders Ards Rangers.

UUJ took the lead through Padraig Scollay and could have gone off two up at the break had young Sipho Biana not been denied by the Rangers netminder.

Ards took a 2-1 lead early in the second session, only for Jordanstown to come back via a rare strike from defender Michael Donnelly.

With less than five minutes remaining, this one looked set for extra-time, before UUJ were caught out by a quick throw-in.

Rangers’ fourth came courtesy of a highly contentious penalty in injury-time, after it looked as though defender Conor Convery had won the ball cleanly in the tackle.

UUJ boss Shane McCullough said the 4-2 scoreline did his side ‘a bit of a disservice’.

“It was closer than that,” he contended. “We need to be that bit more clinical and take our chances, but even Ards Rangers commented on how much we’ve improved from that earlier match. But generally Ards were that bit sharper – we haven’t had a match in three weeks, while they’ve been busy winning the Border Cup.

“I’m happy with the performance and we were missing Johnny Magennis who has been one of our better players of late. It will be hard at Barn, they’re going well and it’s never the easiest places to go.”