Wee Reds edged out by Sky Blues

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An understrength Ballyclare Comrades Reserves side lost their opening pre-season friendly 1-0 to Randalstown Sky Blues at Allen Park on Saturday.

With several regulars missing manager Stephen Hughes recruited from the club’s under 19s and Under 17s, and was well pleased with the performance.

“Last season’s skipper, Marc Rainey, and striker Daniel Ellis have left the club. I’m continuing to concentrate on the promotion of emerging talent from our extensive youth set-up, and keep the conveyor belt moving,” said Hughes.

“On the plus side I have signed Gareth Agnew and Ross Clarke from the Ballymena United and Crusaders youth teams and for this match Gregg McFall, Scott Cummings and Colin McGrath came up from our Under-19s, while we gave match time to George Young and Jonny McClurg from the senior panel.”

The only goal of an entertaining match was scored in the first half by the a Sky Blues striker who had a clear run on goal to beat Jonah Nicholl.

Ballyclare’s best scoring efforts came from last season’s top scorer, Mark Conn, who blasted one against the bar, and McClurg whose free-kick beat the wall but not the keeper.

Ballyclare Comrades Reserves: Jonah Nicholl; George Young, John Thompson, Gareth Agnew, Jamie McTaggart; Tyler McMaster, Jonny McClurg, Gregg McFall, Ross Clarke; Mark Conn, Nathan Stranaghan. Subs: Scott Cummings, Colin McGrath.

Forthcoming fixtures: Saturday 26th v Wellington Rec at Millbrook; Saturday 2nd August v Grange Rangers; 16th August v York Road.