Brown nets in win over Brantwood

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A solitary early strike by Gary Brown at Skegoneill Avenue secured a win for Ballyclare Comrades in their penultimate pre-season friendly on Tuesday evening.

Only two minutes were on the watch when Brown closed down the Brantwood keeper as he attempted a clearance, and stroked the ball in to the net.

Ten minutes later Comrades had to call up Andrew Doyle from the bench when Darren Doherty limped off with a shin injury.

The Reds had the major share of possession, but inaccurate passing in the final third of the pitch failed to produce clear-cut scoring chances.

Randal Reid and Kyle Agnew were restricted to half chances that failed to trouble the keeper, while at the opposite end Paddy Flood had to make only one save in an untidy first half.

After an hour’s play manager Eddie Hill introduced Adam Gray, Gerard McAlea, Andrew Simpson and Mark Wilkinson for Andy Simms, Stuart McClean, Simon McGowan and Reid, but this made little difference.

In a final attempt to break down a stubborn home defence, the Comrades switched to three at the back, with left-back Kyle Buckley making way for striker Johnny McClurg but the scorecard remained at 1-0.

Ballyclare Comrades: Flood; Doherty, McCart (C), Getty, Buckley; Brown, McClean, McGowan, Simms; Agnew, Reid. Subs: Doyle, Gray, McAlea, Simpson, Wilkinson.