Disappointing Defeat to Crusaders

By · June 7, 2012 · Filed in Match Report
Mid Ulster travelled to Seaview on Wednesday night to take on current Euro Electrix Premier league leaders Crusaders Strikers.  Mid Ulster entered the game on the back of two consecutive victories and spirits were high that a shock result could be on the cards.

The girls warming up

This confidence was shown from the kick off with Mid Ulster playing some neat passing football and dominating the very early exchanges.  Indeed after only 3 minutes Mid Ulster got just reward when Lisa Richardson crossed in a free kick and Samantha Kelly hit a sweet shot at the back post to open the scoring.  Strikers pressed hard to get back into the game and Claire Brown was on hand to make a good clearing challenge.  Further pressure resulted in Strikers winning their first corner of the game and Mid Ulster will be disappointed that Nicole Connolly got a free header to draw the game level after 9 minutes.  Strikers now had the bit between their teeth and another corner had the travelling supporters worried.  They needn’t have been as Jacqueline Burns rose above everyone to eliminate the danger.  Mid Ulster were still causing problems on the break and Simone Magill was tormenting her opposite number every time she got on the ball.  Good work between Simone and Lisa Richardson teed up Ruth Brown for a shot but Angela Platt in goal for strikers had it well covered.  At the other end Clare Shaw went close with a header and Alison Smyth had opportunities but neither team could find the net.  Jacqueline Burns showed great bravery to win a ball through and took a heavy knock for her troubles but she picked herself up and got on with the game.  Moments later an awkward fall led to a serious injury for Strikers Nicole Connolly and as Strikers finished off the half with only 10 players Mid Ulster enjoyed a spell of pressure.  A corner right on the stroke of half time fell to Michelle Scott in the 6 yard area but Angela Platt for Strikers was well placed to gather and the teams went in for the break tied at 1-1. The second half started much the same as the first with Mid Ulster exerting early pressure.  Strikers however countered and won a corner.  From the resulting kick out Simone Magill gathered the ball , beat her marker and scored a cracker from a tight angle. 2-1 to the visitors.  Strikers had come back once and they showed they could do it again when on 5 mins Clare Shaw beat the offside trap to coolly slot home and draw the teams level again.  A physical game the Mid Ulster bench held its breath when Captain Claire Rooney went down after another crunching challenge.  Luckily Mas bottle of Holy Water did the trick and she was able to continue.  Mid Ulster gathered themselves and had a good spell of pressure.  A free kick on the edge of the Strikers box drew a save and then Mykylea Stewart went close after some great work by Hayley O’Donnell.  The game was end to end when mid way through the half Strikers took the lead for the first time.  Once again a corner was the undoing of the Mid Ulster girls as Alison Smyth rose to power home for Strikers.  Mid Ulster were now chasing the game and some fresh legs were introduced as Stacey Lee replaced Mykylea Stewart and Chloe Barnes replaced Michelle Scott.  Strikers didn’t let the changes affect them and minutes after the change they increased their lead when a low cross in from the left was well finished by Nicky McWilliams to make it 4-2.  Mid Ulster continued to try to get back into the game and although they created chances it was Strikers who finished the stronger with Jacqueline Burns making a great stop low to her left and the post denying Alison Smyth.  With the game in injury time Strikers put a gloss on the scoreline as Clare Shaw added her second of the night.    Mid Ulster can take a lot of positives from the performance and will be looking to pick themselves up for two home games next week with Fermanagh the visitors on Monday night and Glentoran on Wednesday. Team J Burns, E McFarland, C Rooney, C Brown, L Richardson, H O’Donnell, R Brown, M Stewart (S Lee), S Kelly, M Scott (C Barnes), S Magill Subs not used: H Turkington, R Edwards, L Murphy, L Sommerville