Gray expects tough test at Islandmagee

Islandmagee will this weekend be flying the flag as the only remaining local Amateur League side in the Intermediate Cup, writes John Gillespie.

Former Islandmagee player Tyson Gray, seen here in action against Immaculata. Photo: Presseye

Stephen Donald’s charges host PSNI in their third-round clash which has a bit of added spice with former players Tyson Gray, David Harrison and Ashton McDermott set to return to Wilbourne Park.

It’s the second time in as many seasons the two teams have met in a knockout competition, the Newforge men emerging as 5-2 winners in last year’s Steel and Sons Cup.

The Championship 1 outfit, managed by former Comrades boss Jamesy Kirk, recently halted a run of nine straight league defeats with a much-needed victory over Dundela and they followed that up with a draw against Dergview and a 2-1 win over Knockbreda in the Irish Cup.

But former Island favourite Gray isn’t anticipating an easy ride on Saturday.

“Islandmagee aren’t going to roll over for us and we are expecting a real tough match,” he said. “Apart from a few poor results, they have had a good start to the season and have shown they are a good side with some real quality players.

“So, we are prepared for a tough game and know we will have to earn the right to play our football.

“Last year we started brilliantly against them, scoring in the first five minutes, and then kicked on to play some outstanding football. It would be lovely to get the same start this year, but I think the team they have now is much stronger than then, so it’s going to be very tough. But we’re ready for it.”