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Athletic bounce back in style against title favourites

The referee keeps a close eye on Gary Henderson’s tackle on Aaron Walsh.

Strabane Athletic 2
Maiden City FC 0

STRABANE Athletic bounced back after recent disappointments to record an important victory over Maiden City FC at Melvin Park on Saturday.

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As the first half drew to a close, City saw Caolan Cooley volley wide from James McClay’s cross while at the other end Sean Ferry’s volley needed a smart save from Gill. The last chance before the interval fell to the Derry men when a corner was headed over.

The second half saw a positive start from Maiden City but Strabane had a great chance when Aodhan Doherty fired over from a superb Cal Ryan cross. Athletic had to show their defensive qualities at this stage of the game and although City had greater possession for a while no clear cut opportunities were created. The visitors then won a couple of free kicks which saw McCready draw a fine save from home keeper Ruairi Mc Elroy while McClay’s effort was just too high.

Half an hour into the second period came a very important point in the game when Maiden City’s excellent passing move provided Caolan Cooley with a clear chance but Mc Elroy’s goalkeeping was exemplary, standing tall and denying the Derry striker with a brilliant save from point blank range.

Athletic were boosted by this and the response was immediate as McBrearty’s headed pass found Ferry who was dispossessed when he was just about to shoot. But the deserved breakthrough came with ten minutes to go as another perfect through ball from Conal Crawford released Conor Carlin. Gill did well to save his first effort but Carlin was not to be denied and followed up to convert the rebound.

It might have been a nervous end to the game for Strabane but Shane Brennan settled things when he calmly converted a great pass from Ronan McBrearty for the insurance goal.

Strabane Athletic: Ruairi McElroy; Aodhan Doherty; Cal Ryan; Richard Graham; Christopher Gallagher; GaryHenderson; Conal Crawford; Shane Brennan; Conor Carlin; Sean Ferry; Ronan McBrearty. Subs: David Taylor; Dylan Peoples; Oliver Gallagher; Ryan McAleer; Sean Lynch.

FULL REPORT IN TODAY’S STRABANE CHRONICLE

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The Strabane Chronicle is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
Registered in Northern Ireland, No. R0000576. 15 Main Street, Strabane, Co. Tyrone, Northern Ireland, BT82 8AS