Ardglass Beat Islandmagee In Clarence Cracker

Clarence Cup 4th Round Ardglass  4  Islandmagee  3 Ardglass faced Islandmagee in the 4th Round match of the Clarence Cup, a team pressing for the top of the Premier League. The match was not on paper going to be an easy one for Ardglass. Player Richard Kerr was off with a hamstring injury,  Adam George also had a back injury and Ian Kearney was cup tied. Back Daniel Fleming was also off injured. Islandmagee were facing 12 league  games in the run up to the end of the league season, but were lying near the top and fancied to take the Premiership. But from the start Ardglass showed a growing sense of concentration and stuck well to their task despite a few flare ups. [caption id="attachment_22215" align="alignleft" width="211" caption="Matthew Feenan in action attacking the Islandmagee goal."][/caption] It was Islandmagee who made the first real challenge with a shot by William Wade that went wide. But the Ardglass defenders repelled well to the visitors and the seasiders were soon on the attack and earned their first corner. Islandmagee found it difficult to pass the Ardglass back line who played exceptioanlly well against a stiff team. On the left wing, Matthew Feenan showed his form early as a forward who could tease his way past the defenders and create scoring opportunities. He made one early cross to Chris Teggart but the ball was a tadge too strong and could easily have been the opener. The speed of the Ardglass attacks must have unsettled the Islandmagee defenders as there was a lot of shouting early on in this match reflecting their anxiety about Ardglass, a team playing two leagues below them. Ardglass looked as though they were going to score on a number of occasions such as in the 10th when Stephen Deegan shot over the bar. Then it was Islandmagee’s turn as Wade received a cross but failed to convert it near the goal. Ardglass then gave away a foul at the edge of the box and the shot by Andrew Wade was well caught by Mark Armstrong in goals. The home side were playing like a cohesive team with the midfield  feeding vital passes through to the hungry front line of Feenan, Teggart and Mullan. The Ardglass confidence looked strong and their short touch passing was effective enabling them to break through the Islandmnagee defence on a number of occasions. [caption id="attachment_22216" align="alignright" width="267" caption="Ardglass forward Liam Mullan in action against Islandmagee."][/caption] In the 24th minute, midfielder Gareth Telford  made a great snap shot from 40 yards out catching Islandmagee keeper off guard and the ball shot through his hands and legs into the net. By the 30th minute, Islandmagee were quite agitated and in one exchange the first yellow card went to Ardglass forward Liam Mullan. At one point the game almost took a twist when Stuart Meldich volleyed at  the right side of the Ardglass goal but a diving save from keeper Armstrong denied him his moment of glory. But Islandmagee were not to be denied and Andrew Wade leveled the score in the 32nd from a rebound of a shot off Mark Armstong which be put well into the Ardglass net. From there on the temperaure of the game increased with a lot of verbals from both sides and in the 35th minute Chris Teggart took Ardglass’ second booking. Islandmagee were trying to unsettle Ardglass and were creating a few more chances. William Wade sent one hard drive at the Ardglass goal after fighting his way past the defenders but Armstrong strongly punched the ball away to safety. Ardglass gained the advantage again when Chris Teggart was taken down in the penalty box by Islandmagee midfielder Michael Moore. Stephen Deegan converted the penalty giving Ardglass the lead again. At the break Ardglass were looking the better side with the back line of Curran, McEvoy, Rooney and Deegan  proudly in control against a formidable side. [caption id="attachment_22217" align="alignleft" width="252" caption="Martin Mawhinney, the editor ot the Belfast Telegraph soccer scene, The Park, presents the Man of the Match Trophy to Ardglass forward Matthew Feenan."][/caption] It was all to play for in the second half and an early pass by Telford to Teggart saw the shot just miss the post from 30 yards out. Stephen Rooney too fed in an excellent pass to teggart who was fighting all the way for that match decider goal. The Ardglass work-rate looked as though it had definitely increased and the pace of play was quite hectic at times testing their fitness. Then in the 59th minute, a pass from Teggart to Feenan and a touch to Liam Mullan created the opportunity for goal number three for the home side, Mullan beating keeper Harrison well. A win for Islandmagee required three goals and was not looking likely on the form  Ardglass were showing. Islandmagee were still fighting back and creating opportunities with David Lough passing to Andrew Wade who just shot wide. Then the game turned more towards the visitors with Ardglass looking slightly wobbly and out of position. Then in the 75th minute, Islandmagee pulled a goal back when Wayne Patterson broke into the Ardglass goal area and chipped the ball over keeper Armstrong. But the drama did not end there as Matthew Feenan was fouled in the box by Michael Moore and Stephen Deegan took the conversion well putting Ardglass in the lead at the whistle. Islandmagee struck again with a surprise overhead kick near the goal by defender Wayne Patterson leveling the match in the 79th minute. As extra time looked almost a certainty, the referee, linesmen and spectators were delivered from this eventuality when Matthew Feenan was fouled in an attack in the Islandmagee box and in the dying embers of the game, Stephen Deegan delivered a perfect penalty kick to put Ardglass through. [caption id="attachment_22219" align="alignright" width="213" caption="Ardglass double penalty taker Stephen Deegan up for a high ball."][/caption] Ardglass manager Leo Kearney said after the game, “The team played well together. This was never going to be an easy game but we stuck to our task in hand. We held our own against a team two leagues above us. I was delighted to see Matthew Feenan win The Belfast Telegraph ‘The Park’ Man of the Match prize which was presented by The Park editor Martin Mawhinney. “We now have to play Larne Tech mid-week in the quarter finals, and we have 13 league matches left to play in six weeks. But the lads are up for every match. They are well disciplined and they don’t fear opposition. Stephen Deegans also had a good game, and Ryan Curran, although he was sent off for two yellow cards, played exceptionally well.” Ardglass now face Larne Tech OB who beat Ballywalter Rec 3-2 in the quarter final of the Clarence Cup. Ardglass FC: Mark Armstrong, Ryan Curran, Lee McEvoy, Stephen Rooney, Chris Deegan, Gareth Telford, Stephen Deegan, Liam Mullan, Matthew Feenan, Chris Teggart, Ciaran Dorian. Subs; James Telford, Sean Paul Halpen, Matthew O’Shea. Islandmagee FC; David Harrison, Thomas Craig, David Lough, Wayne Patterson, Andrew Philips, Michael Moore, Andrew Wade, Simon Moffat, Stuart Meldich, William Wade, Carl Murray. Subs: Lee Crocket, Stuart Scott, Tony Clarke. ]]>