Mid Ulster 3 Cliftonville 1

By · April 15, 2010 · Filed in Match Report
Mid Ulster started their Davisons Fruddles Premier League Campaign with a home game at the Mid Ulster Sports Arena against newly promoted Cliftonville Ladies.  The game was played on a bright evening with a good crowd in attendance.  There was plenty of drama early on in the half and in the first 5minutes Mid Ulster supporters experienced both disappointment and elation within seconds.  The influential Mykylea Stewart pulled up with a serious hamstring injury just as her team mates launched an attack on the Cliftonville goal.  Good individual work from Simone Magill resulted in her opening the scoring softening the blow of the loss of Stewart from the game.  A bit of a reshuffle saw Ruth McGarvey enter the game on the left hand side of mid field with Louise Murphy moving back to left back and Ruth Brown moving to the right.  The half developed into a tough physical encounter and the Mid Ulster girls were finding it difficult to play the flowing football that they had displayed towards the end of last season.  With tackles flying in it was only a mater of time before the referee had to reach for his pocket and after one such physical challenge and a little bit of afters both sides clocked up a yellow card each. Mid Ulster suffered a further set back after 20 minutes when Michelle Scott had to leave the game again due to a reoccurring injury.  The blow was softened as her replacement was the experienced Rachel Stewart.  Cliftonville were using their strength to force their way into the game and they looked to have equalised when a great strike from the edge of the box was matched by a superb tip over the bar from Debbie Rankin.  Unfortunately from the resultant corner Cliftonville strikers reacted quickest to a goalmouth scramble to equalise just on the stroke of half time. Mid Ulster started the second half in determined mood.  The home team began to win their individual battles and chances were being made especially down the right wing with the pace and movement of Simone Magill.  After 6minutes Rachel Stewart managed to beat the Cliftonville offside trap and made a great run into the Cliftonville box where she unleashed a stinging shot.  The Cliftonville number 1 could only parry the shot and Chloe Barnes was first on the scene to score her first senior goal for the club.  This appeared to settle the Mid Ulster girls and even though Cliftonville pushed another player up front the Mid Ulster back line of Claire & Ruth Brown, Karen Donnell and Louise Murphy were letting nothing through.  Debbie Rankin was authoritative in goal and the Mid Ulster girls were beginning to frustrate the visitors.  Cliftonvilles task was made even more difficult after 16 minutes of the half when they had a player dismissed for a cheap second yellow card for dissent.  Mid Ulster continued to press for the killer goal but in fairness to the visitors they did not give up and continued to press for an equaliser.  As darkness started to fall Hayley O’Donnell and Adele Gillespe continued to try and dominate the game and a piece of brilliant individual skill from Adele Gillespe finally settled the supporter’s nerves.  Picking the ball up in midfield Gillespe beat two players before using her speed to break into the box and produce a clinical finish to give a 3 – 1 scoreline.  With 9 minutes remaining in the game Mid Ulster kept things tight and indeed did create a few more chances but without really testing the Cliftonville keeper.    So the game finished with a 3 – 1 victory for the Mid Ulster girls. Team D Rankin, K Donnell, C Brown, R Brown, M Stewart (R McGarvey), L Murphy, S Magill, A Gillespe, H O’Donnell, M Scott (R Stewart), C Barnes.  Subs not used: K Ballentine, J McGurk, C Charles. The club were also delighted to receive Sponsorship for the year from Andrea Given on behalf of The Railway Bar and thanks to Richard Charles from Diverse IT for sponsoring the match ball. Mykylea Stewart receives sponsorship for the season from Andrea Givens on behalf of The Railway Bar.