HAVING created a new club record with four straight wins to start the season, Ballyclare Comrades immediately smashed it by extending their winning sequence to five on the bounce, storming to a 3-1 victory over Donegal Celtic II in the second round of the Steel & Sons Cup.
After Nicky Sharples, Ricky Higgins and Andy Simms (penalty) scored the goals, manager Gordon Chambers said: “Consistency normally comes from consistent team selection, but owing to the exceptionally high number of early season injuries I have not been able to select the same team for consecutive matches.
“For the Celtic game I had no fewer than 11 players out, so my starting line-up showed six changes from the previous game with young Aaron Ibinson getting his first start with the senior side in a prominent central midfield position.
“Stevie McDowell was also drafted in at left midfield for his first start of the season, but we had a very sound back four. Stuart McCullough is back to his best after missing most of last season and he and William Wharry were brilliant at the heart of the defence.
“Lee Rushe and Phil Logue were in top form as full backs, so the Celtic attack got limited opportunities to test Ross Glendinning in goal.
“We will face a sterner test in the next round when we entertain Ballymena Premier League champions Brantwood on Saturday 10th, but our immediate thoughts turn to this weekend’s league encounter with Moyola Park at Dixon Park.
“We are currently joint top with Dundela and Lurgan Celtic in Championship 2, so the incentive is there to extend our 100 per cent league record,” said Chambers.
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