Amateur League: McKee nets winner for Barn
Division 1A: Barn United bagged a 3-2 win in a typically tough tussle with East Belfast at Haslett Park on Saturday. And what a crucial three points they were, because with Grove beating Dundonald, defeat would have dropped Jim Pherson’s side into the bottom two.
It was East who were first off the mark on seven minutes with their number nine first to react to the loose ball, after a point-blank header was superbly parried by keeper Conor Brown.
The visitors should have doubled that lead two minutes later when a long ball over the top caught United on the hop, only this time the forward’s shot just grazed the upright.
Barn made the most of that reprieve, by bridging the gap on 11 minutes; John Mathers stealing in to nod home Nicky Sharples’ right-wing cross.
Yet Barn, like East before them, seemed reluctant to press home their advantage, with Sharples placing his penalty too close to the keeper, after Wayne Patterson’s chip was handled by a defender who, surprisingly, didn’t even see yellow.
Barn had now shuddered into life, but the equilibrium remained with Patterson pinging one off a post, while a Sharples’ header smashed off the crossbar.
Instead, it was the EastEnders who inched back in front in first-half injury-time; again first to the rebound, after the original shot had been pawed out by Brown.
On the turnaround, as in the opening session, there was a goal after just seven minutes, only this time it was the Barn boys who were celebrating. It was perhaps not the cleanest of strikes from Sharples, but it was still well enough placed to beat the East netminder, after Aaron Anderson had squared the ball.
Barn forged ahead for the first time on 65 minutes. The Carrick boys were appealing for another penalty with Sharples chopped down, but the official awarded a free-kick right on the edge of the box. Gary McKee’s initial shot was blocked and there were appeals for hand ball, but while his team-mates were claiming a penalty, he had another bite at the cherry, directing the ball into the corner with his left foot.
Barn United: Brown – Armstrong, McKnight, P Mathers, Anderson – White (Omar), McKee, Patterson (McMurtry), Wakeham (Bingham) – Sharples, J Mathers.
More Amateur League coverage in this week’s Times
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Weather for Carrick
Saturday 25 May 2013
Temperature: 8 C to 13 C
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Wind direction: South
Temperature: 8 C to 15 C
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