League Leaders held to a draw

By · May 23, 2013 · Filed in Match Report
Mid Ulster travelled to Seaview to take on current league leaders Crusaders Strikers on Wednesday night.  Mid Ulster were delighted to welcome new signing Sarah Connolly and also an equally welcome sight was the return to action of Adele Gillespie after a serious injury last season.  The Mid Ulster girls were relieved to even make it to the match at all between Rooneys dodgy clutch and Emma dodgy Sat Nav.
New Signing Sarah Connolly welcomed to Mid Ulster by Chairperson Elaine Junk

New Signing Sarah Connolly welcomed to Mid Ulster by Chairperson Elaine Junk

Mid Ulster started the game brightly and Adele Gillespie got a good early touch to show she certainly was back to full fitness.  The Mid Ulster girls were up for the challenge and Chloe McCarron was very busy in midfield disrupting Strikers and setting Mid Ulster on the attack.  On the left wing Samantha Kelly and Louise Murphy were linking up well and Samanthas fast feet led to her drawing a couple of free kicks from mistimed challenges.  Although Mid Ulster held the slight advantage in terms of possession Strikers were very dangerous on the attack.  Claire Rooney and Claire Brown were working hard at the back and even when the balls through did beat the back line Jacqueline Burns was on her toes to clear the danger.  Sarah Connolly was showing her talent as she held the ball up well and sprung the players on each side of her.  A great ball through on the right saw Adele Gillespie strike a great first time shot across the Strikers goal only to be thwarted by the far post.  Buoyed by this Mid Ulster pushed on and Chloe McCarron was next to get a shot in but it was well held by the Strikers number one.  As the game switched to the opposite end Jacqueline Burns gathered well after a sharp strike from Strikers Hannah Doherty.    Aoife Curran picked up deep in her own half and a strong run resulted in a free kick to Mid Ulster from the edge of the box but there was to be no repeat of last weeks super strike this time.  Strikers finished the half strongly and once again Jacqueline Burns held well from a Danielle McDowell free to keep the sides scoreless as the half time whistle sounded. Both teams began the second half unchanged and Strikers started the half on the attack.  A good shot from Alison Smyth was well tipped over by Mid Ulster Jacqueline Burns.  From the subsequent corner Burns claimed the ball and set the Mid Ulster girls off on the attack.  The game was end to end and the first substitution came after 57 minutes with Hannah Turkington replacing Louise Murphy for Mid Ulster.  A sweeping move involving Lisa Richardson and Claire Rooney saw Adele Gillepsie go close but the breakthrough was proving hard to find.  Strikers also pushed for the advantage but Claire Brown, Emma McFarland and co were putting in a great shift.  As the half progressed it was Strikers who were enjoying the lions share of possession but Mid Ulster were doing everything to keep their goal intact.  A Strikers corner looked like it was goalward bound but Jacqueline Burns got down low to her left and Lisa Richardson cleared to the relief of the visiting fans.  Sarah Connolly relieved the pressure as she held the ball up well in the middle and won a free for the Mid Ulster girls.  Lisa Richardson delivered well and as the ball broke to the edge of the box Chloe McCarron flashed a shot just over.  Poor Chloe still waiting on that second trainer! A further change saw Sarah Connolly replaced after a great debut by Stacey Lee.  Hannah Turkington was causing Strikers some concern with her pace and the only way to stop her was to upend her as Hannah was unfortunate enough to experience.  Luckily Hannah bounced back to her feet and was able to continue.  Stacey Lee was unlucky to see the ball just slip away as she was released by Adele Gillespie and as the ball broke Strikers went on the attack.  A superb tackle from Aoife Curran cleared the danger but it also ended Aoifes involvement in the game as she suffered serious cramp and was replaced by Chloe Barnes.  The added time for Aoifes injury seemed to go on and on and both teams had chances in the final few minutes.  As it was the final whistle sounded on what had been a thoroughly entertaining scoreless draw.   A fair result for both sides. The girls were delighted to have Simone “Toffee” Magill as chief cheerleader and she also proved very useful for pushing cars and hoking in bins on the way home. photo Team: J Burns, C Brown, C Rooney, L Richardson, E McFarland, A Curran (C Barnes), C McCarron, S Kelly, L Murphy (H Turkington), A Gillespie, S Connolly (S Lee)  Subs not used: K Donnell, C Bowden, L Sommerville, R Kelly. Next Wednesday 29 May Mid Ulster welcome Glentoran Belfast Utd to the Sports arena 7.30pm kick off. No training for juniors this Monday 27 May due to the bank holiday.