Higgins helps Comrades to first win

Ricky Higgins scored Ballyclare's second goal in the 2-0 win over Sport and Leisure
Ricky Higgins scored Ballyclare's second goal in the 2-0 win over Sport and Leisure

Ballyclare Comrades go into this Saturday’s Championship 2 game against Killymoon Rangers with a much-needed win under their belts.

The Reds netted their first victory of the campaign last weekend, coming away from Glen Road Heights with all three points thanks to a 2-0 win over Sport and Leisure Swifts. Second-half goals from Evan Forsythe and Ricky Higgins did the damage.

Manager Eddie Hill bolstered his defensive options in midweek with the capture of Forsythe and Aaron Ibinson who both started the game, along with Daniel Lunney making his competitive debut at left-back.

Ballyclare had the better of the opening exchanges with Gary Brown and Stephen McDowell both going close.

The Swifts had chances of their own with Tomas Diamond and Largey firing efforts wide of Paddy Flood’s goal.

Ten minutes before the break, Kyle Agnew saw his close-range shot saved by Nugent after a pinpoint cross from the lively McDowell.

As the second half got under way, Sport and Leisure were on red alert as the Comrades came out with all guns blazing.

They broke the deadlock in the 55th minute when Adam Gray’s header was parried by Nugent. It fell nicely to Forsythe who powered his shot into the roof of the net.

Three minutes later, the Swifts almost levelled matters as Donnan rattled the bar.

But the Comrades doubled their advantage when Ricky Higgins fired home from inside the six-yard box after great build-up play involving McAlea, Agnew and McDowell.

With the two-goal cushion in place, Hill’s men were brimming with confidence and were playing some fluid, passing football.

Ricky Higgins almost made it 3-0 in the 74th minute but he flashed his near-post volley narrowly wide. Three minutes later Gray saw his shot saved.

A superb last-ditch tackle from Dan McAlea prevented Donnan from pulling one back for the home side in time added on.

Comrades’ line-up: Flood, Ibinson (McGowan 59), Pierce, Forsythe, Lunney, Agnew, McClurg, McAlea, Brown (Gray 44), R. Higgins (Earley 74), McDowell. Subs: D. Higgins, Gray, McGowan, Earley, Spence