COMRADES: Dorrian looks ahead to ‘Stute match

Ballyclare Comrades manager David Dorrian.
Ballyclare Comrades manager David Dorrian.

Ballyclare Comrades manager David Dorrian was delighted to get the first Championship 1 win of the season under his belt, with last weekend’s 2-1 win against Armagh City at Dixon Park.

“It was a dour encounter – we weren’t at our best and Armagh sat deep seeking a draw, so there was little to get either set of fans excited,” said Dorrian.

“With no further cup commitments until the Irish Cup in the New Year, we can now push on from this win and concentrate on climbing the table, starting in Drumahoe on Saturday. Institute now have ex-Derry City star Kevin Deery in charge – he was a neat footballer, so I expect he will want his players to keep the ball on the deck.”

“Except for Curtis Dempster, JB Dobbin and Peter Duffin, we should be at full strength on Saturday.”

Reflecting on Saturday’s victory over Armagh, Dorrian said: “Only the excellence of John Connolly in the Armagh goal prevented us from winning by a bigger margin, but we ground out a result and the three points leap-frogged us over them in the table.

“We didn’t get the rub of the green at any stage. The penalty award was harsh on Andrew Simpson and I was annoyed when the referee cancelled out what seemed to be a perfectly good strike by Randal Reid, but we have to accept these things and get on with it.

“I must give credit to Curtis Woods who had to switch to centre-half when William Wharry dropped out with a calf niggle during the warm-up. The late change upset our set-piece routines, but after a nervous start in a new position he settled in well and came up to score the winner.

“After Armagh took an early lead Andrew Simpson equalised with a fantastic strike into the top corner, so we turned round all square. But we lasted the pace better and could have had a couple more goals in the closing stages. Eddie Hill’s vision is a bonus when he comes off the bench; he brings other players into the game, while Chris Trussell is gradually regaining full fitness and should soon be able to tackle the full 90.

“Stuart King and Samuel McIlveen were in control in midfield, while Michael O’Hanlon was unlucky not to get his name on the scorecard, but he was a worthy winner of the September Player of the Month award.