Honours even in top of table ‘Crues’ clash

Maiden City players celebrate having come from two goals down to take maximum points in the Under-13 National League clash against Cookstown on Saturday.
Maiden City players celebrate having come from two goals down to take maximum points in the Under-13 National League clash against Cookstown on Saturday.

MAIDEN City Academy’s Under-15s came from behind to rescue a vital share of the spoils in this eagerly anticipated top of the table clash at Bready Cricket Club on Saturday.

MAIDEN City Academy’s Under-15s came from behind to rescue a vital share of the spoils in this eagerly anticipated top of the table clash at Bready Cricket Club on Saturday.

The visitors from North Belfast went into the half-time interval with a one goal advantage but Maiden City emerged with intent in the second half and Chris McLaughlin levelled the scores with a powerful long distance strike.

It was an excellent advertisement for the N.I.B.F.A. National League and Maiden City will take some confidence going into this Saturday’s league clash against Linfield at Suffolk Road. (Kick-off 11 a.m.)

The match began at a frantic pace with both teams keen to stamp their authority on the game in the early stages.

And it was the young Crusaders who enjoyed the best of the opening exchanges in midfield but any chances created were expertly dealt with by Maiden City goalkeeper, Gareth Muldoon and an experienced back four consisting of Michael Gilmore, Cal Ryan, Brett McGinty and Dillon King.

At the other end Maiden City began to have a certain degree of success and Kyle Walker found himself very unlucky to run out of space after rounding the Crusaders’ keeper.

And 10 minutes before the break the deadlock was broken after a great finish from distance from the away team as Crusaders went in at the interval with their tails up.

Whatever Peter Allen had said at the break had the desired effect as the Maiden boys came out for the second half much more positively.

Both Declan Sharkey and Callum Whiteside went close to restoring parity before McLaughlin finally levelled the game seven minutes into the second period when hitting an unstoppable drive from 25 yards leaving the travelling keeper no chance.

The game was then end-to-end, however, Maiden City had the lion’s share of goalscoring chances but they were also fortunate to find themselves lucky to be still level after Crusaders had a strike ruled out for offside.

The game was frantic right up until the final whistle before the referee brought proceedings to an end with the scores level.

Man of the match - Callum Moorehead.

Maiden City - Gareth Muldoon, Michael Gilmore, Cal Ryan, Dylan King, Bret McGinty, Callum Moorehead, Declan Sharky, Jake Francis, Chris McLaughlin, Jerome Marshall, Kyle Walker, Oran Higgans, Adam Dougherty, Callum Whiteside, Rory Donaghy.

MCA produce superb comeback in Cookstown

Cookstown . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

Maiden City . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

Maiden City’s Under-13’s produced a richly deserved victory against Cookstown in the National League on Saturday.

The Derry boys hit back after falling two goals in arrears to score four unanswered strikes.

The last time the teams met MCA recorded a narrow victory so Cookstown were determined to reverse that result.

Indeed, the City defence was under pressure for the first 20 minutes and the home side took an early lead when they broke at pace finding their centre forward who controlled the ball before shooting and giving goalkeeper Shane Wallace no chance.

Cookstown deserved the lead and five minutes later they found themselves with a two goal advantage following another defensive mix-up between defender and goalkeeper which saw the ball end up in the back of the City net.

MCA got back into the game with two quick strikes just before half-time. Their first goal was a wonderful strike from Josh Green from 25 yards giving the Cookstown keeper no chance.

Ethan Coll then calmly slotted the ball past the advancing keeper as the half ended level.

After the break Eoghan Crilly crossed a dangerous ball into the box which fell kindly to Odhran McCrossan and he smashed it into the roof of the Cookstown net.

The Strabane midfielder then doubled his goal tally soon afterwards when shooting from 25 yards to find the corner of the Cookstown net.

Maiden City - Shane Wallace (captain), Ryan Higgins, Ian Maxwell, Michael Kelly, Eoghan Crilly, Josh Green, Odhran McCrossan, Cian Catney, Ethan Coll, Justin McGee. Subs all used;Jack Doherty, Oran McGill, Ewan McGrath and Adam Doherty.