Portrush Seconds 3 Mossley Fourths 1
Portrush Seconds maintained their unbeaten run in the Junior Five league with a 3-1 home win over Mossley Fourths on Saturday.
Despite the fairly emphatic score line this was not an easy game for Portrush who had to display solid defensive qualities for long periods in a game that hung in the balance until near the end when the third goal was scored.
However, the team can take credit for a gritty, never-say-die performance that maintains their top of the table position and gives them confidence for future games.
Early exchanges were even with both sides demonstrating their attacking qualities and it was Portrush who took the lead with a slick counter attack from John Dillon who, on a one-on-one with the Mossley ‘keeper, managed to slip the ball into the net.
The goal only served to galvanise Mossley who forced a number of short corners all of which were stoutly defended by veteran defender, Peter McMullan, and John McMullan.
Mossley’s relentless pressure finally paid off when Portrush were caught off guard and the visitors’ took advantage of poor communication to score with a simple tap in.
Just before half time newcomer, Adam Holmes, scored his first goal for Portrush with an absolutely stunning strike from the edge of the ‘D’ which drew shouts of praise from spectators and team-mates both on and off the pitch.
Mossley’s experience and commitment saw them dominate at the start of the second half and two short corners could have proved disastrous for Portrush only for the timely intervention of John McMullan who managed to clear the danger on each occasion.
The Portrush defence were forced to work hard to cope with Mossley’s pressure and it was fortunate that the back numbers were on form with the McMullans and Tom Cartmill in sparkling form.
With time running out for Mossley, Portush delivered the killer blow with the irrepressible John Dillon scored with a reverse shot after an assist from Leon Smith.
Scott Horner and Andy ‘Dizzy’ Dalzell can reflect on excellent contributions with the latter assisting the first two goals.
Portrush Seconds: M. Jordan, J. McMullan, P. McMullan, B. Smith, T. Cartmill, A. Douglas, G. Kerr, C. Henry, A. Dalzell, B. McMullan, J. Dillon. Subs – S. Horner, A. Kerr, A. Holmes, L. Smith.
Man of the match – Adam Holmes.