Carryduff Colts find a win after hard slog against Rooftop

ROOFTOP 2 CARRYDUFF COLTS 4: The Carryduff Colts made it two wins from two since the turn of the year but this was a hard slog against Rooftop, the league’s bottom team.

Carryduff Colts' Michael Deeny tries to unlock a packed Rooftop defence
Carryduff Colts' Michael Deeny tries to unlock a packed Rooftop defence

The visitors went in at half time trailing by a single goal and with the North Belfast strugglers, who included a few signings in their line-up, fired up by the scent of their first win of the season it took a lot of grit and determination, rather than any great skill, to earn the points.

The Colts looked disjointed and flat throughout the first period and it almost looked like they felt all they had to was turn up to claim the points. Rooftop were snapping into tackles and bayed on by a noisy crowd of supporters took the lead towards the end of the first half with the striker taking advantage of some sloppy defending and applying a good finish put his side into the lead.

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The Colts back three of McDonnell, O’Rourke and King were under unexpected pressure, only relieved by the occasional burst from midfield from McBride, while the front two of McNicholl and Ciaran Sherry were getting little joy against the home defence, with only Odhran Sherry on the right hand side looking dangerous with his pace.

Matty O’Rourke rises high as the Carryduff Colts pile on the pressure on Rooftop

With something now to hang on to, Rooftop prevented Carryduff from finding any rhythm and despite a host of corners and set pieces and a few scrambles around their goalmouth they managed to reach half time unscathed.

The Colts got a stern talking to at half time and believed that they had equalised within five minutes of the start when Ciaran Sherry fired home from a tight angle but the referee ruled the goal out saying the ball had gone out of play.

Despite protestations the referee refused to change his mind and it started to feel like it could be one of those days when Sherry then hit the post a few minutes later from 10 yards out and the goalkeeper pulled off a couple of decent saves.

With something to hold on to, Rooftop continued to defend determinedly but despite their frustrations, there was a sense if the Colts could get a breakthrough they could go on to secure the three points.

Having failed to capitalise on their set pieces during the first period, Michael Deeny took over duties in the second half.

And it was his delivery from a corner that set up Stevie Tabbitt to equalise on his long overdue debut appearance for the firsts on the hour.

Five minutes later Colts moved into the lead when a long throw from Ciaran Sherry found his brother Odhran who finished superbly

Deeny’s set pieces continued to put the home defence under pressure and he was the source of a third goal when his corner found the head of Matty O’Rourke who headed home.

Any thoughts that the game was over were soon dispelled when the referee dubiously ruled that Fergus McBride had fouled a Rooftop player in the box and the full back fired home a terrific spot kick that gave goalkeeper Sean McCaffrey no chance with 15 minutes to go.

Rooftop pushed forward in search of an equaliser and it almost came in the 80th minute when the centre back headed a corner towards the inside of the left hand post only for Deeny to pop up and head it off the line.

Rory Timoney came on for Jack Rafferty in a move that proved to be decisive, as he managed to latch on to a Tabbitt pass and apply a great finish to restore his team’s two goal lead.

Euan Neeson and Jack Collins came on for Carter King and Odhran Sherry and helped see the game out but there will need to be an improvement if Colts are to continue to press towards 
the upper end of the league table.

Colts: McCaffrey, King (Neeson), O’Rourke, McDonnell, O Sherry (Collins), Tabbit, Deeny, McBride, Rafferty (Timoney), McNicholl, Sherry.