BALLYCLARE Comrades have made an excellent start to their testing five-match February programme with a second consecutive win.
Eddie Hill’s new-look side impressed the fans in Saturday’s 2-0 victory against Moyola Park - coming hot on the heels of three points against Portstewart. They also got the job done in Tuesday night’s 2-1 win over PSNI, with a Chris Shimmon double refuelling their promotion prospects.
“Let’s not start boasting,” warned Hill. “We have won a couple of matches, but we still have 14 or 15 to play, so let’s not get carried away.
“I was definitely pleased to leave Mill Meadow with three points against Moyola. Revenge was not on the agenda after having lost to them earlier at Dixon Park; my one aim was to get three points, irrespective of the opposition.
“We prepared well for this game which was played on their artificial surface. Our friendly against Carrick Rangers last Tuesday on a similar surface was definitely a good move, for on that night more than 20 of our players had the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the different conditions.
“Right from the start we were on the ball against Moyola, and we fully deserved our win. We had a perfectly good third goal disallowed for offside, and indeed we could easily have won by a much wider margin.
“Our new signings are settling in well with Andrew Doyle and Chris Getty dominant at the heart of the defence. Chris picked up an ankle knock and I took him off as a precaution, but I fully expect him to be back in for Saturday’s trip to Cookstown.
“Marty McAvoy, who has been out all season, is now back in action and he will be pushing to regain his place in midfield, but he faces tough competition.
“On Saturday I had the luxury of being able to replace Gary Brown and Andy Simms in that department with Kyle Agnew and Simon McGowan for the final half hour, without weakening the team.
“We never looked like losing and our keeper Paddy Flood had an easy time in goal - that says a lot about our dominance.
“Ricky Higgins and Chris Shimmon continue to work well together up top, but when Ricky dropped back to midfield late on for Getty, Mark Wilkinson came in to give us a double aerial advantage against the Moyola defence.
“Back-to-back clean sheets are great, and if we continue to build on that we will be a major force to be reckoned with in Championship 2.
“After Saturday’s away match against Killymoon Rangers, we have another challenge on the road when we play Annagh United. By the time we do, I hope we will have climbed a few places in the league table,” said the Reds’ boss.