Disappointing week for the Mid Ulster girls

By · July 22, 2012 · Filed in Match Report
Mid Ulster entertained Premier League leaders Crusaders Strikers in the Euro Electrix League cup on Monday night at the Sports Arena.

its tiring work this supporting lark.

  Mid Ulster started well with good possession but they didn’t really threaten the Strikers goal.  Strikers were looking dangerous on the attack and Annie Timoney for Strikers was on target with 17 minutes played when she beat the offside trap to finish well.   Mid Ulster reacted well to going one down with Ruth Brown making a great break through from midfield but the final ball saw the move break down.   Although Mid Ulster threatened they still couldn’t find a way through and Mykylea Stewart had to be on her toes to make a last ditch tackle to thwart a Strikers attack.  The action was end to end and Chloe Barnes whipped in a great ball from the right which Stacey Lee was unlucky not to connect with and so the half ended with the visitors just in the lead at 1-0. Mid Ulster started the second half well with good passing and an early move saw a great ball played through by Emma McFarland but it was just slightly too heavy for Ruth Brown to get on the end of.  More pressure from Mid Ulster saw the home team win a free kick 30 yards out on the right hand side.  Lisa Richardson stepped up to deliver and the home support were delighted to see the ball floated expertly into the top corner levelling the game with 4 minutes of the half played.   Strikers reacted well and barely 3 minutes later their lead was restored when Annie Timoney was again on target to make it 2-1.  Mid Ulster pushed again and Summer Williams showed great persistence to deliver a great cross but once again Mid Ulster just couldn’t find the final touch.  With 15minutes of the half played Annie Timoney showed great feet to slip in yet again and get her hat trick to leave Strikers with a commanding lead 3-1.  The Mid Ulster girls were still battling and Claire Rooney played a good ball out of defence to Hayley O’Donnell and on to Samantha Kelly but once again the final ball did not find a Mid Ulster player.  Whilst Mid Ulster had plenty of possession and some nice spells of passing the final penetration was lacking.  Louise Murphy replaced Chloe Barnes and a slight reshuffle saw Samantha Kelly move to the right wing but still Mid Ulster could not close the gap.  Strikers were still dangerous on the break and as Mid Ulster pushed opportunities came their way.  With 12 minutes remaining a defensive mix up in the Mid Ulster back line presented Amy Burden with a simple finish to make the score 4-1.  To rub salt in the wounds Strikers finished the game off with Alison Smyth scoring in the final minute and putting a gloss on the score line that perhaps wasn’t truly reflective of the game. Final Score Mid Ulster 1  Crusaders Strikers 5   Team:  J Burns, L Richardson, C Rooney, M Stewart, E McFarland, S Williams, H O’Donnell, C Barnes (L Murphy), S Kelly, R Brown, S Lee. Subs not used:  L Sommerville, A Edwards, R Edwards.   Wednesday night saw the Mid Ulster girls travel to Victoria Park in Belfast to take on Newbridge Predators in the NIWFA Euro Electrix Premier League.  It was touch and go whether the game would take place at all with the referee getting his feet wet during the pre match pitch inspection.

How not to get your feet wet!!

The referee finally gave the go ahead although it was hardly ideal conditions with large areas of the pitch very wet.  The early exchanges saw both teams trying to get to grips with the heavy conditions.  Predators had a couple of early shots from distance but nothing to trouble Jacqueline Burns in the Mid Ulster goal.  Mid Ulster were playing some nice football out from the back with Claire Rooney and Mykylea Stewart providing the basis for Summer Williams to feed Michelle Scott but the Preds number 1 was out well to smother the attack.  As the half progressed Mid Ulster were exerting more and more pressure on the Predators goal.  Two corners in quick succession were just too long and then Hayley O’Donnell won a free kick just inside the Predators half.   With 28 minutes played Lisa Richardson spotted the run of Michelle Scott and played a great ball through.  Michelle turned inside her marker and slotted the ball home with her left foot to open the scoring.  Preds reacted straight from the kick off and Mykylea Stewart had to make a great tackle to keep the lead intact.  With 35 minutes played Summer Williams worked herself into a shooting position and the Preds keeper could only parry the shot.  Michelle Scott was on hand to thump the rebound in off Stacey Lee and give the visitors a 2-0 advantage.  With the half time whistle approaching Mid Ulster let their guard slip and a long throw from Predators was flicked on at the near post for Emma McPeake to nod home and leave it 2-1 to Mid Ulster at the break. Predators started the second half well and early pressure saw a shot just over the bar.  Moments later and Predators threatened yet again but Jacqueline Burns in the Mid Ulster goal stood up well to make the save.  Mid Ulster followed this up with a spell of pressure with Samantha Kelly and Michelle Scott seeing efforts go just wide.  The game was finely balanced and it was no real surprise when Predators grabbed the equaliser.  A good strike from Alex Ogle dipped just under the bar and the game was now tied at 2-2.  Mid Ulster nearly replied immediately with Stacey Lee breaking through but her shot was straight at the Predators Keeper.  A free kick from Claire Rooney went just over as Mid Ulster pushed for a winner.  As the game wore on two of the Predators players made their way into the referees book for persistent fouling with Samantha Kelly and Ruth Brown on the receiving end of some crunching tackles.   Rebecca Edwards replaced Stacey Lee for Mid Ulster and with 75minutes played Mid Ulster thought they had finally gained the upper hand again.  A cross from Summer Williams was headed goalwards by Michelle Scott .   The Predators number 1 pushed the ball out and Hayley O’Donnell scrambled the ball into the net.  Well at least thats what the Mid Ulster players and supporters thought.  As the Mid Ulster girls made their way back for the restart the Referee awarded a goal kick as the ball was retrieved from behind the net having gone through a hole in the back of the net.  Things then went from bad to worse for the Mid Ulster girls as Predators took advantage of this stroke of good luck and went on the attack again.   With the Mid Ulster players still fuming about the decision Alex Ogle was on hand once again to place a low strike into the bottom corner to give Predators a 3-2 lead with just 8 minutes remaining.  It could have been worse for Mid Ulster as Billie Simpson couldn’t direct her header from a corner and then Predators hit the bar.  Finally Mid Ulster got back into their stride and with the final attack of the game Lisa Richardson had a great strike from 20 yards out.  It was to be Predators night and Lisas strike was matched by an equally fine save from the Predators number one to leave the final score Newbridge Predators 3  Mid Ulster Ladies 2   Team:  J Burns, L Richardson, C Rooney, M Stewart, E McFarland (L Murphy), H O’Donnell, S Williams, R Brown, S Kelly, S Lee (R Edwards), M Scott.  Subs not used: A Edwards, L Sommerville.