DAWFL Dennis S Nash Charity Shield match report


DAWFL Dennis S Nash Charity Shield match report

DAWFL Dennis S Nash Charity Shield

Greenwell Star 2 v 6 Comber Rec III

It was the Premiership Champions against the Frank Moore Cup winners in the annual Down Area Winter Football League’s season opening fixture, with Greenwell Star looking to claim the trophy for the 5th time and Comber Rec III looking to claim the trophy for the first time and become the 4th name on the trophy. The game also saw referee convenor, Jimmy Fegan, making a rare appearance on the sidelines as 4th official.

Comber Rec started the game positively on the front foot, unawed by their treble winning opponents, and within the first minute had won a free kick just inside the Greenwell half. The ball was placed into the box and with Greenwell struggling to clear their line, the ball fell to Elliot Wilson, who’s shot blazed over the bar, but an early warning for Greenwell. Greenwell were to show their own attacking threat a minute later when good link up play between Robert Bell, Jonathan Hall and Daniel Orr saw them launch a swift counter attack of their own, but Comber cleared the danger before they could get sight of goal. A minute later, Greenwell almost took the lead when an attempted clearance from Comber’s Daniel Gillan forced keeper Lewis Dugan into an excellent stop as the ball looked to be heading into the bottom corner, but a good lively start to the game as both teams looked to claim the initiative. On 10 mins, Comber Rec almost took the lead when Wilson released Gillan through on goal with an excellent ball over the Greenwell back line only to see his shot come off the angle of the goal post, but Greenwell picked up the ball and launched an immediate counter attack of their own as William McIlroy calmly played the ball out of defence to Michael McKeown who sent an excellent ball through for Orr to race on to and with Dugan racing out of his box, Orr dinked it past him and with the Comber defence struggling to get back to cover, Orr picked the ball up to put it into the net to give Greenwell an early lead. The goal seemed to settle Greenwell as they started to enjoy the majority of possession, but good link up play between Comber’s Adam Bickerstaff and Elliot Wilson on 18 mins almost produced the equaliser only to see the referee’s assistant flag for offside. Comber were now starting to look more dangerous and a good move down the right wing on 26 mins saw Josh Boal play a great ball into Wilson, but Greenwell managed to get back to clear the danger. However, just 2 mins later the teams were level when, with Greenwell playing the ball out from defence, defender James Sproule was caught in possession by Gillan and a great ball into the box was met by Wilson to give Comber a deserved equaliser. Comber were now the more dominant team, but overall the teams being level was a pretty fair reflection of the game, but on 37 mins a great ball into the box from Greenwell’s Jordan Mills almost saw them regain the lead, but Orr couldn’t get a strong enough touch to divert it into the net. However, 5 mins later, Greenwell took the lead for the second time when a good free kick into the box from Matthew Hall was inadvertently turn into his own goal by a Comber defender. Comber responded well to the set back and finished the half with the last shot on goal as Boal saw an effort from distance go just past the post, but the half ended with Greenwell holding a slender 2-1 lead and the game still anyone’s to win.

Whilst the first half saw some good play from both teams, the second half was to turn into a bit of a feisty battle. Greenwell started the half well and a lovely deft backheel pass from Bell on 50 mins saw the ball fall to Craig McCullough who released Orr, but Comber got back to clear the danger. 3 mins later it was Comber’s turn to go close as, with Greenwell slow at clearing the ball, the ball fell to substitute Andrew Laird who rattled the crossbar from all of 20 yards. Shortly afterwards there was some controversy as Comber were awarded a penalty when striker Craig McCracken was brought down by keeper Carl O’Neill, who then received a straight red reducing Greenwell down to 10 men. With Michael McKeown taking the keepers gloves, his first act was to pick the ball out of the net as Wilson stepped up to calmly score his and Combers second to level the scores and game on. Despite being a man down, it was Greenwell who proved to be the more dominant team, but on 61 mins Greenwell were almost caught out when they failed to clear their lines resulting in Wilson winning a tackle and hitting the crossbar from his follow up effort. The game had proceeded into a bit of a stop start game as the referee, James Burch, was being worked hard to keep control of the game. A good move though on 68 mins saw Greenwell’s Bell release Orr, but his weak shot didn’t pose any problems for keeper Dugan. Comber launched an immediate swift counter attack of their own only to see Gillan’s shot going wide. 5 mins later and Comber had the lead for the first time in the game, which proved to be the turning point of the game. Stand in keeper McKeown didn’t look in any danger as he assessed his options for putting the ball up field, but a poor pass saw the ball drop to the feet of Laird, who simply put it back over his head. 2 mins later and the game was now running away from the reigning Premiership champions as Wilson turned provider for McCracken to score his first of the game and a min later another error by McKeown saw Wilson grab his third of the game to give Comber a commanding 5-2 lead. It could have been worse for Greenwell on 80 mins, but McKeown made some amends for his earlier mistakes to do enough and the ball went out of play. McKeown was to be called into action just 2 mins later when he pulled off an initial good save, but McCracken was alive to pick the ball up and dink it over him to increase Comber’s advantage. In the dying mins of the game, Greenwell did have chances to reduce the deficit, but Dugan pulled off a great save on 84 mins to deny them, but he almost gifted them a goal on 87 mins, but the final whistle came with Comber well worth their win.

Greenwell Star – Carl ‘Neill, Jordan Mills, Mark Hemphill, James Sproule, William McIlroy, Matthew Hall, Craig McCullough, Daniel Orr, Jonathan Hall, Michael McKeown, Robert Bell, Substitutes – Stephen Steele, Nathan Shaw, Craig Edwards

Comber Rec III – Lewis Dugan, Josh Boal, Mark Freel, Ben Carson, Ross Whitehead, Andrew Flack, Daniel Gillan, Adam Bickerstaff, Craig McCracken, Elliot Wilson, Jonny Gibson, Substitutes – Nathan Cousins, Andrew Laird, Aaron Cousins

Referee – James Burch, Referee’s assistants – Darren Briggs, Brian Andrews, 4th Official – Jimmy Fegan