ARDS RANGERS . . . . . 1
LIMAVADY UTD . . . . . . 2
JUST as he did against Cork City at the Brandywell during the 2009 season, the introduction of towering striker, Aaron Nash, proved significant on his Limavady United debut last weekend.
Playing in the WKD Intermediate Cup against Amateur League leaders, Ards Rangers, the ex-Derry City striker netted a brace of goals in as many minutes to present the ‘Roesiders’ with their tickets for the next round of the competition.
The Derry man’s 10 minute extra-time cameo stunned the home side and Limavady move on despite the loss of their inspirational manager, Oran Kearney, to Coleraine last week.
United started brightly with Cooke striking the post and within minutes the visitors thought they had made the breakthrough when the Rangers keeper spilled a Spratt shot ito the path of the advancing Cooke who tapped in from close range.
Initially, the referee awarded toe goal but then, inexplicably, overturned the decision for an apparent offside infringement.
The second half was particularly dull but United could have scored early in the half when Cooke ran into the box and sent a cross to Hutchinson, whose shot was blocked.
Extra time came into play and almost immediately Limavady had a great chance to break the deadlock. Friel was clearly brought down as he raced into the penalty area and the referee had no hesitation in awarding a spot-kick. Up stepped Owens however the Ards Rangers keeper produced a top drawer save, palming the ball around his post.
And fives later, the visitors conceded the opening goal when keeper, Doherty, was penalised for fouling Mark Miller inside the box with the striker was clean through on goal. The same player took the penalty, sending Doherty the wrong way.
The second half of extra time saw Nash enter the fray for his competitive debut with United clearly in danger of elimination in the Intermediate Cup.
But cometh the hour, cometh the man. Then the Nash show commenced. The tall striker smashed his first shot off the stanchion with a superb volley from long range. Then he unleashed a shot from the edge of the box which the keeper, at full stretch, managed to push clear. But the Derry man would not be denied and in Limavady’s next attack in the108th minute Nash gained possession and while his shot was weak, the ball bobbled into the net for a vital equaliser.
Within the space of two minutes this tie was controversially turned on its head. Nash collected the ball near the half-way line, the striker continued his run before whipping over a cross with the outside of his right boot which totally deceived keeper, McKay, and the cross-cum-shot dropped into the net.
Ards Rangers - McKay, Kerr, Wallace, Mark Roy, Patterson, Stewart, Hall, Newberry, Ritchie (Rees), Miller, Johnny Roy.
Limavady United - Doherty, Walsh (Nash), McKeever, McConachie, McNulty, Patrick, Owens, Spratt, Cooke, Hutchinson, McCaughan (Friel)
Referee - Mr. Damien Basketfield.