Lisbellaw United 3
Enniskillen Rangers 1
Lisbellaw United began 2015 with a 3-1 success at home to Enniskillen Rangers in what was a competitive encounter from the outset.
Both sides tried to the get the ball down and play on the sticky surface at Drumad and it was the home side who took command of the game in the second period to register a second victory of the season against their rivals.
The first period saw the hosts create a few good opportunities but Rangers goalkeeper Adam McDonald was forced into just one meaningful save.
A good stop to deny a towering header from Raymond Carroll on the half hour mark. Chris Nixon had gone close with two long range drives while Paul McGrath drilled over the bar after latching onto a Shane Reavey pass.
Rangers were solid in defence and had Stuart Rainey, Jarno Glass and Oscar providing a threat going the other way, however they failed to test Lisbellaw ‘keeper Daniel Ray. A looping shot from Rainey dropping over the crossbar was the closest Gordon Culter’s men came to getting the first goal.
As the game approached half time Lisbellaw struck their opener.
There was 44 minutes on the clock when an Owen Mooney corner was cleared to the edge of the penalty area, Chris Nixon drilled a low ball back into the crowded goalmouth where Lisbellaw’s captain Kyle McCleery steered the ball past McDonald and into the roof of the net with a neat flicked finish.
Lisbellaw held the upper hand for long periods in the second half, keeping possession well and carving out a few more goal chances.
Ryan O’Keefe was twice thwarted by an alert McDonald before the forward was fouled in the penalty area just after the hour. O’Keefe picked himself up and dispatched the spot kick to the net for 2-0.
A swift attacking move saw Paul McGrath and Ryan O’Keefe open the Rangers defence before Raymond Carroll shot straight at McDonald while Alan Veitch got through one on one but couldn’t convert.
With six minutes remaining Rangers finished their best 10 minute spell of the contest with a goal, William Burleigh turning the ball in from close range after a low right wing cross to set-up a nervy finale for the hosts who had been comfortable to that point.
Lisbellaw had the final say though, as Alan Veitch out-muscled Brendan Rogers on the end line before pulling the ball back to Paul McGrath who finished well to complete the 3-1 victory.