Carrick Ladies win league opener at Amphitheatre
THERE were broad smiles all round at Carrick Amphitheatre as the players and supporters of Carrick Ladies First XI, sponsored by Holmes Builders, celebrated a win in their first home game of the season against visitors, Derg Valley.
Carrick had to come from behind twice over the full 70-minute period.
Derg were one-up after only three minutes when the Carrick defence was caught flat-footed by an early attack, but a well taken equaliser from Jill Stewart, her first goal for her new team, was no less than Carrick deserved.
The home team’s celebrations were short-lived. however as within two minutes Derg Valley were back in front again, courtesy of a narrowly angled shot from their right wing.
The second half produced a much more intensive effort from Carrick as they looked to get back into the game by pouring wave upon wave of attacks, but with the forwards failing to find the net from a series of short corners, the home supporters were clearly beginning to feel the strain just as much as the players.
Elegant left back Emma Boal remained calm and confident, producing an excellent second-half performance as she continually powered forward to add weight to the Carrick attack. And eventually the home team’s efforts paid off when Melissa Taylor snapped the ball into the net following a delightful series of inter-passing.
With the wind now well and truly in their sails, Carrick pressed forward for a killer strike and the honour fell to talented young centre back Lois Passmore, who slipped home the winner with only minutes left on the clock.
“We said right at the start of the season one of our key objectives was to greatly improve our home form this year,” said Carrick president Peter Stevenson after the match. “So everyone’s absolutely delighted to win our opening home fixture. Even our most die-hard supporters would have to acknowledge that we didn’t manage to control this match as we would have liked.
“Derg Valley caused us a lot of problems in the first half and both of their goals came from sloppy defending on our part. We’ve now conceded five goals in our opening three games and we clearly need to work on this. But the entire team showed tremendous character to fight back from falling behind twice, and our second half performance was excellent.”
Carrick Ladies: Sara Beattie, Emma Boal, Caris Greenwood, Sophie Mills, Rachel Murray, Stacey McGookin, Kerry McIlroy, Trish Neill (capt), Emma Nichols, Julie Oliver, Lois Passmore, Jill Stewart, Melissa Taylor, Christine Waide.