NIFL Championship 2
Moyola Park 2 Dowie, Gray
Tobermore United 2 P Keane (pen), G Keane
Moyola Park welcomed Tobermore United to the Mill Meadow on Saturday for a rearranged Championship 2 game. This was the first meeting of the teams this season and is always keenly contested in front of a large crowd.
The first chance of the game fell to the home side in the 2nd minute when McAuley and Dowie combined to find Gallagher however his shot was wide. With eight minutes on the clock a cross from McAuley found Taggart who shot over. A minute later at the other end a cross from Parkhill was cleared by Black and the ball came back into the box and McQuillan headed clear only for the referee to adjudge that he handled the ball and point to the penalty spot. Up stepped captain P Keane who calmly fired the ball past Maybin to give the visitors the lead against the run of play. In the 12th minute a Black corner was headed wide by McIlhatton and three minutes later Dowie closed down a McGraw clearance only to see the ball rebound of the Moyola striker and loop over the bar. In the 16th minute N Lamont headed wide from a free kick from Marks and in the 18th minute McAuley found Taggart and he headed the ball into the path of Dowie who shot over. Moyola had Gallagher booked in the 24th minute and five minutes later another good corner from Black was again wide by McIlhatton. In the 34th minute McAuley combined with Waddell on the right with a cross coming into the Tobermore area and Dowie turning and shooting at McGraw. In the 36th minute the referee booked Glasgow for the visitors. A minute later the home side were level when McIlhatton found Dowie who fired a shot into the corner, however McGraw should have done better with the effort. This was the last real chance of the first half and both teams went in 1-1 at half time.
The visitors made the first change of the game for the second half with G Keane replacing the injured N Lamont who got a knock just before half time and the captains arm band was passed to goal scorer P Keane. With five minutes gone in the second half the referee booked Harkness for a late challenge and with very few chances the next chance fell to the home side in the 60th minute with McAuley finding Dowie who shot wide. Moyola Park manager Mervyn Pattison made his first change of the game in the 62nd minute with the returning Gray replacing Black. A minute later a corner from Twist was knocked into the net from substitute G Keane from close range. The same player nearly scored again a minute later; however he failed to connect with a cross. The visitors made their second change with S Lamont replacing Glasgow. G Keane was in the thick of the action again in the 72nd minute when he headed wide from a Duffin cross and two minutes later Gray found McIlhatton at the other end and his shot was deflected wide for a corner. With fifteen minutes left, Duffin shot wide from inside the box and Moyola also made a change with McNamee replacing McAuley. The visitors made their final change in the 73rd minute with Curtis replacing Duffin and the home side got an equaliser in the last minute when a mistake in the Tobermore defence saw Gray fire the ball across McGraw and into the far corner to make the score even. The last action of the game saw the referee book Devine for the visitors.
This was a good game of which both teams would have been happy with a point as neither goal keeper had much to do during the 90 minutes.
Moyola Park: Maybin, Harris, McQuillan (c), Doey, Waddell, Black, Taggart, Dowie, Gallagher, McIlhatton, McAuley. Subs: Gray, Kelly, Kells, McNamee.
Tobermore United: McGraw, Harkness, Winton, P Keane, Marks, Glasgow, Duffin, Devine, N Lamont, Parkhill, Twist. Subs: Curtis, S Lamont, G Keane, Deane, McLarnon.
Moyola Park travel to Hagan Park next Saturday to play neighbours Coagh United in another derby game and this has a 3.00pm kick off.