Ladies spirited in Ballyclare defeat
BY LEWIS BENNETT
BANGOR Ladies boss Ethan Boylan was able to take plenty of heart from a spirited account despite his team’s 2-4 home reverse at the hands of Ballyclare Comrades.
In their latest engagement in the NIWFA Championship last Wednesday night, the Ladies took on an outfit who are widely expected to be in real promotion contention.
Bangor found themselves playing catch-up early on in the duel, going behind within the first five minutes when Ballyclare’s Aimee Kerr fired into the top left corner from around six yards out, before the same player showed her class and composure from the penalty spot to double the advantage nine minutes later.
The Seasiders then found themselves taking a trip to the 12-yard spot as Olivia Brown was felled in the area, cueing Amber Dempster to step up and convert her eighth goal in three matches.
That halved the deficit – and 12 minutes later, those arrears would no longer exist. The ball fell kindly for Brown in the box, who wheeled away to celebrate an equalising goal having side-footed smartly with only the goalkeeper to beat.
It was quite the turn for the books from an opening period where the Comrades had their counterparts consistently under the cosh, with referee Paul Costello signalling for half time with the sides locked at two apiece.
The second half however saw the Co Antrim squadron kick on, when Kerr became her team’s hat-trick hero with another spot-kick that came prior to her upgrading to a four-goal haul with the last action. Her dancing dribble was topped off with the finish to match such sublime close control, and in the fourth minute of added time, it sealed the outcome regarding where the points would be headed for good.
“I wouldn’t use the turn of phrase that we were necessarily like a rabbit in headlights to start the game, but we knew we’d be coming up against one of the best teams in the league – and we maybe showed them a little bit too much respect from that point of view,” long-time supporters’ favourite Boylan reflected.
“They came out, had a game-plan and they started on the front foot. They put us under pressure and they scored the two goals in that dominant spell.
“Starting the second half, it wasn’t ideal giving the penalty away but I was happy enough with the response,” he said.
“We didn’t really get started, we’re playing the team that’s second-favourite in the league and they had the better of us in that part (the first 15 minutes of the game), but by the end of it I’m more pleased than frustrated, definitely.”