Killyleagh go out of Border Cup to Bangor.
Bangor 2 Killyleagh YC 1.
Killyleagh impressed in defeat in this Irish Cup second preliminary round tie. The seasiders needed a goal-line clearance to keep Paul Sharvin’s YC team at bay as they fought in the closing stages for an equaliser that would not come writes Chris Hagan.
Both clubs have a love affair with this competition but there has been a change in fortunes in the seasons since Bangor won the Irish Cup in 1993 as an Irish League team and Killyleagh became the only Amateur League club to reach the semi-finals in 2002.
Manager Sharvin was forced to reshuffle his line-up once again, with Niall Walsh and Conor McCarron the notable absentees for this game, although he was able to welcome back Keegan Rice and Jon-Joe Sharvin for his first game in four weeks.
It was a cagey opening with both teams testing each other without any real goalmouth action. Indeed it was the 16th minute before the first serious shot. Bangor’s Kian Storey went close with a spectacular effort.
Then almost immediately Killyleagh almost took the lead after fine work from Sam Carson and Declan McComiskey, with Jon Joe Sharvin close to making the breakthrough.
Four minutes later the YC went even closer with Jack Sharvin’s dangerous free kick which was cleared for a corner. The ball was eventually scrambled clear by the Seasiders.
The home side made the breakthrough after 28 minutes as Killyleagh failed to clear their lines. McMullan fired the ball across the six yard line and Ben Arthurs tapped in at the front post to make it 1-0.
Killyleagh were still very much in the game and it was no surprise when they levelled within three minutes with a superb finish from Keegan Rice. Jack Sharvin was fouled as he flicked the ball on but teenager Carson did superbly to keep play moving and Rice raced through to finish beautifully past Darren Gibbons.
Then the game went through the same phases as earlier with the experienced pair of Barry Walsh and Darren McConnell playing crucial roles in the midfield sector, snuffing out the Bangor threat as they attempted to pick out their target man, and protecting the YC backline of Gary and Jonny Murray, and the Sharvin brothers.
There was only one other incident of note before the half-time interval with a McMullan shot rolling past Aaron Carberry’s post.
The sides were evenly matched, and with the midfields on top and neither defence conceding an inch, it was the 64th minute before Bangor made it 2-1. A Reece Neill corner was flicked on by Arthurs and finished at the back post by David Hume.
Killyleagh came close to producing an instant reply within two minutes. Jack Sharvin’s goal bound effort was headed off the line by Bangor sub Kyle Woods with his first touch.
However, the equaliser would not come and it is Lee Feeney’s Bangor who progress. Nevertheless this was a vastly improved performance from Killyleagh who switch their focus back to the league this weekend with a tough assignment at home to the Larne Tech OB side promoted with them at the end of the 2019 season.