We were off on our travels this week with an away fixture against St. Patricks at Mallusk, St. Pats a team in Form who have only lost one match in twelve months.
With Joel Hill away this week we had to reshuffle the central defence again with midfield pairing of Matthew Guest and Reece Atkinson filling the gap in defence. We conceded a silly goal 3 minutes in when the ball skidded on the wet surface under Jai’s foot and into the net, but four minutes later we were level with some great passing football, 10 passes starting from defence and the final pass from Stuart Hannah put in Edward Muldrew who smashed the ball into the back of the net 1 : 1. We knew from the start this would be a tough game but the boys were up for it against a very tall St. Pats and they came at us time and time again but the defence seemed to have it under control. Then on the 23rd minute St. Pats took the lead, probably well deserved as they pushed us back most of the first half, they got a corner and poor marking gave the St. Pats player a free header and that’s how it stayed at half time.
HALF TIME: 1 . 2
Half time team talk was to use the downhill in the second half and have a go and that’s what we did. Three minutes into the second half and we were level, We got a corner which St. Pats half cleared the ball fell to Brandon McFerran out on the right he put the ball back into the box, Rhys Mackie flicked the ball on and Edward Muldrew grabbed is second of the match to make it 2 : 2. Then in the 47th minute we took the lead for the first time, again Brandon McFerran went on a run sent over the cross and Rhys Mackie caught it on the volley to put it over the keepers head in to the net, finally Ards were in front 3 : 2. Five minutes later we could have scored again and Edward Muldrew came close to getting his hat-trick but his shot went just wide of the post. St. Pats were always looking dangerous when they got forward and they equalised in the 54th minute with a well worked goal 3 : 3. With 5 minutes left on the clock the R.A.B.A. took the leaded again, another good bit of football when Matthew Guest played the ball forward to Edward Muldrew he then passed the ball to Brandon McFerran who skipped pasted two players squared the ball across the box and Substitute Ben Appleton met the ball just inside the box and slotted it past the St. Pats keeper to make it 4 : 3. This should have been the final score but St. Pats had other ideas. They hit back right away to equalise and as we play into the first minute of added on time we switched off at the back to allow them to nip a winner, a touch of offside in this goal but the referee gave the goal and to be fare the Ref had an excellent game.
FULL TIME: 4 . 5
Good performance boys against a very good St. Pats team who are top of the league, a lot of positives can be taken out of this match but we need to tighten up at the back this is a work in progress but will mature with time. Keep your chins up boys we will start to get results and you will get your chance again against these teams to put things right.