THE first competitive tie of the season for Strabane Athletic’s Saturday Morning squad presented them with the toughest of opponents in top Premiership outfit Creggan Swifts last week.
The quality of passing, crossing and finishing from the Derry outfit, provided a stern examination for this young Athletic team and despite the final score, there were encouraging performances from several Strabane players.
Athletic were defending resolutely against a strong Creggan opening but their resistance was broken on 17 minutes when a good cross from the left was headed home.
Despite a spirited response, things got worse for the local lads with a second headed goal and a sending off over the next 20 minutes. The visitors firmly in control now added a third on the stroke of half-time.
It would have been understandable if Athletic heads had dropped for the second half but the opposite was the case. The ten men displayed a lot of passion and determination and after a few missed chances, Ryan Stewart’s well struck shot found the net to make it 3-1.
Strabane were the more threatening team at this point but the quality of the opposition shone through when from a breakaway, a superb low cross was tapped in to restore the three goal margin. Strabane’s refusal to lie down yielded another good goal for Gareth Crawford but being stretched at the back allowed the clinical visitors to fashion three more goals, before the full time whistle signalled a 7-2 victory for the Premiership team.
Managers Paul Doherty and Marcel Griffin while noting areas for improvement, will have taken plenty of
encouragement from the pace, fitness and attitude of their youthful squad.
FULL STORY IN THURSDAY’S STRABANE CHRONICLE