8 Mar 2014 - Larne Tech 4 Abbey Villa 2

Mar 22 2014 7:24 AM

Villa travelled to a windswept Dennis Harvey Park and despite taking a two goal lead were beaten 4-2 by a more determined Larne Tech side.


With Caldwell and Pitman unavailable, Young was forced to ring the changes but able replacements in the form of Foster and Ritchie were on hand.  An early free kick from Barr was Villa’s first attempt on goal but it was easily collected by the keeper.  McDermott and Ritchie both looked eager from the outset and their movement caused several problems for the home side. 


Clear cut chances were few and far between but a header from Canavan from Graham who smashed a great effort off the keeper and wide for a corner. 


Thompson and Cahill both had chances for Larne Tech.  Graham thumped an effort off a defender and off the upright.


The goal came in the 38th minute.  The Larne keeper misjudged a ball into the area.  Graham reached it first as he rounded the keeper and slotted the ball home under pressure from a defender.


Villa had elected to play with the wind in the first half in the hope that it would subside in the second.  This hope proved unfounded and Villa took their one goal lead into the second half against a driving wind.


Hyslop was booked for a very cynical foul on McDermott.  The attention served as encouragement to McDermott and in the 50th minute he beat his marker on the left flank and lofted the ball over the keeper to make it 2-0.


This should have signalled a settled spell for Villa but they conceded a penalty two minutes later which Yilmaz converted.  Then Thompson forced his way into the box and slotted home the equaliser for the home side.


The Villa defence became more unsteady with the loss of Magee and Foster in close succession.  With the wind adding more pressure, Villa conceded twice again and the final 4-2 score line was a fairly unsatisfactory end to what had been a promising start.  The wind certainly played a part but poor concentration by Villa was also a decisive factor with the home side keen to redress the balance of a nine point deduction of points by the Amateur League for abandonment earlier in the season.


Villa:  Andrew Wallace, George Gamble, Michael Foster, Alan Strain (Capt), Paul Magee, Ryan Munn, Gary McDermott, Thomas Canavan, Philip Graham, Jay Ritchie and Steven Barr.  Subs:  Paul Mulholland, Chris Boyd (for Magee) and Lee Dempster (for Foster)


Larne Tech:  Jackie Wallace, Matt Hyslop, Lee Campbell, Martin Steele, Ryan Thompson, Gary Montgomery, Sean Cahill, Kieran McAuley, Sencer Yilmaz, Sean Ward and Lee Thompson.  Subs:  Dylan Monaghan, Peter Wilkinson and Niall McConnachie


Referee:  Sean Nolan (Belfast)