Belfast Telegraph NI Football League Championship Two

Moyola Park 2  (D Paul, Dowie )  Queen’s University 1 (Culbert)

Mervyn Pattison’s Moyola Park bounced back from a disappointing 3-1 defeat in the Final of the North West FA Senior Cup against NIFL Premiership side Institute at Drumahoe in midweek to register another three points in the Championship Two league table against Queen’s University at Mill Meadow. A minute’s silence was observed before the kick off in memory of the mother of one of Moyola Park’s Vice Presidents, William Jordan.

In the opening exchanges neither side threatened the opposition’s defence until following a 12th minute free kick by Darren Walls, Eugene Gallagher headed wide of Declan Brown’s goal. Gallagher was on hand minutes later to block a shot by Queen’s striker Connor Mulholland. Just beyond the half hour mark Mulholland laid on a pass for  Stephen McDowell, but Marty Rea, replacement for the holidaying Marty Farniok, gathered the ball comfortably. Gareth Stewart’s pass to Chris Dowie on 34 minutes led to an excellent save by Brown, the ball rebounding to Dowie whose subsequent effort on goal was blocked at the expense of a corner. Shortly afterwards Queen’s University’s Daniel Culbert crossed for McDowell whose header was blocked by Craig McAllister. With barely four minutes remaining before the half time interval Jason Paul made an excellent run down the right wing before crossing the ball to his brother David, who beat Brown at the front post to give the home side a one goal advantage.

Mark Prenter set up an opportunity for McDowell who shot just wide in the early minutes of the second half. The visitors pressed hard for an equalizer, with Culbert, Mulholland and Michael Allison all failing to find the touch necessary to test Rea. On the hour mark Stewart and Walls were involved in a move which ended with David Paul shooting wide. Two minutes later Sean Walsh fired wide of the Moyola Park goal and seconds afterwards Allison played a ball to Prenter whose shot was deflected for a corner kick. On 70 minutes substitute Curtis Hassan cleverly played the ball through to Dowie who rounded Brown and finished to the net from an acute angle to score what proved to be the game’s winning goal. Minutes later Dowie had an opportunity to seal the victory for Moyola Park but having beaten the visitors’ offside trap he pushed the ball wide of Brown’s left hand upright. In the fifth minute of time added on at the end of the game Culbert scored a well struck goal which proved to be no more than a consolation for the Queensmen.

Moyola Park FC would like to thank The Barber Shop, Castledawson for sponsoring the match ball for this game.

Moyola Park: Marty Rea, Craig McAllister, Gareth Stewart, Conal Kirkpatrick, Mark Waddell, Diarmuid Larkin, Jason Paul, Eugene Gallagher (Sean McCabe 85), Chris Dowie, David Paul (Connor Barrow73), Darren Walls (Curtis Hassan 66). Substitutes not used: Maurice Curtis, Samuel Omokua

Queen’s University: Declan Brown, James Haire, Eoghan Burns, James Ferrin, Adam Robinson, Daniel Culbert, Michael Allison, Mark Prenter, Connor Mulholland, Stephen McDowell, Sean Walsh. Substitutes: Ciaron O’Hare, Ryan Murphy, Dearghlon McMaw, James Turley, Neil McGaughey

Referee: D Maguire      

Assistant Referees: N Gibson, S McCreedy