BALLYCLARE Comrades Reserves are back in pole position in the Ballymena Junior League Division 1 following a fine win against Antrim Rovers.
Two goals in two minutes early in the second half ended the visitors’ challenge at Threemilewater Park where the Reds ran out comprehensive 4-1 winners.
Jonty Watson’s lads went in to this one as favourites and they opened the scoring after 20 minutes when Jonathan Boyd powered a header into the net from a Richard MacAuley corner.
Rovers’ right-winger posed problems for the home defence forcing Warren McAllister to come off his line to cut out crosses, otherwise he was not seriously tested.
At the opposite end skipper Pod Lynch’s free-kick skimmed the bar, while impressive left-sided midfielder Aaron Lindsay had a header that flashed just wide.
Rovers were perhaps a little fortunate to turn round only one down, but the picture changed dramatically in the 55th minute when Daniel Ellis headed home followed by a Niall McErlean header from a Lynch cross two minutes later.
Antrim then reduced the deficit when the ball was played straight down the middle, leaving McAllister badly exposed against two attackers.
With Matt Boyd commanding the midfield, Comrades remained in control, and Ellis doubled his tally three minutes from time when he beat two opponents on the edge of the box before firing the ball in to the bottom corner of the net.
“Rovers proved to be tough opponents, but our lads had the majority of attacking play and were worthy winners,” said Watson.
“That win leap-frogged us over leaders Tobermore, back in to top spot, one point clear, but they have a match in hand.
“The season is going well; we are still involved in the Junior Cup, the Junior Shield and the Welshman Cup, but the number one aim is to retain the League title. “
Ballyclare Comrades Reserves: McAllister; Lynch (C), Wilson, Lunney, Ibinson; MacAuley, M Boyd, Spence, Lindsay; Ellis, J Boyd. Subs: McErlean for Spence, injured 50’, Rainey, Quinn.
In this week’s Times: All the local action from the Ballymena and Provincial League