Homers survive Sky Blues fightback in cup

HARRYVILLE Homers had to overcome a dogged comeback from Randalstown Sky Blues before finally prevailing 4-3 after extra-time in an all-first division Arkmedia O'Kane Cup first round tie.

It was a game that Homers were winning easily 3-0 until 20 minutes from time when Sky Blues started their great escape to force the game into extra time only for Homers to win with a Ian Millar penalty.

Early pressure from the visitors paid off after 15 minutes with the opening goal. Steven Hutchinson worked his way to the bye line before picking out Jason Stevenson with a pin point cross and he cut inside his marker and fired home from the edge of the penalty area.

It was all Homers at the start of the second half but Jason Stevenson hit the bar when he chipped the Sky Blues keeper, Steven Hutchinson hit a post and Alan Rainey should have scored when put clear. The pressure finally paid off 18 minutes into the second half when Ian Millar put Alan Rainey clear and he rounded the Blues keeper to score.

Seven minutes later it looked all over when Jason Stevenson fired home when the Sky Blues defence failed to score but then came the Sky Blues fight back.

David Answorth was pulled down in the penalty area and Sky Blues were awarded a penalty. Darren Quigley stepped up to score the spot kick and he further reduced the deficit when a long ball out of defence by David Semple was controlled by Quigley before he rifled the ball home.

The fight back was completed 5 minutes later when Jordan Craig put David Semple through to level the tie. The home team could have stolen the tie in the dying minutes when David Semple had a goal bound effort brilliantly saved by Homers keeper Barry Weir.

Homers were more composed in extra time and their pressure resulted in a penalty kick when Jason Stevenson was bundled over in the penalty area. Cool as a cucumber Ian Millar stepped up to fire home the spot kick and send Homers into the second round at home to Glenarm Rovers.

BSML DIVISION ONE

Carnlough Swifts 1, Broadway Celtic 0: A Michael Abram free kick seven minutes from time saw Swifts claim all three points off Celtic who could have won the game easily but for several missed chances.

Both sides were reduced to 10 men in the second half when there was a coming together and this upset the flow to the game as it became a midfield battle.

Swifts got the sucker punch of a goal on 83 minutes when Conal Ward was fouled 30 yards from goal. Michael Abram stepped up and curled a free kick round the Celtic wall and under their keeper Stephen Elliott to make it 1-0.

Celtic threw everything at Swifts but their defence held strong with James Aitcheson and Seamus Lee playing well to consign Celtic to their first defeat of the season.

Carniny Rangers 8, North End 1: Carniny were missing two players Roger Jones and Chris Dowie who scored the majority of their goals last season but they still proved too strong for a North End side who have still to win a point.

Scott Drummond opened the scoring for Carniny after 18 minutes and he added the second before Ryan Bamber chipped in with a further two to send in the Champions four up at half time.

North End reduced the deficit with a Sean O'Neill goal 3 minutes into the second half but this only acted as a spur for Carniny as they hit another four goals with Scott Drummond to score two more to bring his total to four and Ryan Bamber completed his hat trick.

Jordan Kenny snatched the other goal as Carniny start the season with six straight wins in Division One.

BSML DIVISION TWO

Waveney Swifts 3, FC Inter Stars 1: After a bad result last week Swifts hit back with a great second half performance to beat Stars and go top of Division Two.

Inter were well on top early on and took the lead on 15 minutes when winger Vladimir Brzak broke down the right and sent a ball across the face of goal for Florin Bordeianu to sweep the ball into the net.

Swifts were always dangerous on the break but the home team had to wait until 2 minutes from half time to get back on level terms when Rodney Beggs headed home a Ciaran Lemon corner kick to send the teams in level at half time.

The game changed dramatically 16 minutes into the second half when Swifts were awarded a penalty and had a player sent off. Inter keeper Lobomir Tealarik saved Rodney Beggs spot kick the got injured in saving the resultant block but he was able to carry on.

Swifts took advantage of the extra man but found 10 man Inter hard to break down. The breakthrough came with 15 minutes left when Kenny Wright raced clear to score and the three points were secured in the dying minutes when Wright found the net again

BSML DIVISION THREE

Randalstown 0, FC Penarol 3: Both these teams have opened their 3 Division Campaign undefeated but relegated Penarol turned out just too strong for Randalstown.

Penarol created good chances but squandered them until midway through the second half when right winger Ricky Stewart moved over to the left hand side of the pitch cut inside, beat 2 defenders and hammered the ball home from 20 yards.

The second goal arrived shortly after when Penarol caught the home defence with a quick break down the left and when the ball broke just inside the box David McBride slotted the ball past the Town keeper.

Penarol's third and final goal was scored with 3 minutes remaining when Andy Calderwood cut in on the left bye line and beat the keeper from an acute angle with a strong drive to send Penarol top of Division Three.

TOP FOUR SEMI-FINALS

This Saturday sees the two Semi Finals of the Division One Top Four Cup – sponsored by The Mortgage Shop - which involved the four top four teams from last seasons Division One.

Holders Homers meet All Saints OBs and are both undefeated this season so something has to give. Homers beat Saints 4 times last season and seem to have the hoodoo sign over them.

They have opened the season on a high with new signing Steven Hutchinson and Robert Ritchie settling in well and adding to Homers already strong panel.

Saints also have added several new players with Chris Smiley already hitting the goals and Colin Laffin staring at the back. Homers look strong favourites to win and possible go on to win their third Top Four Cup in a row.

Carniny Rangers will want to win the Top Four as they were beaten Finalist the last two years and have opened the season with 6 straight wins even though they have lost the services of Maurice McDowell. Jordan Kenny has come in and his trickery and goals has given them a new dimension.

OTHER RESULTS

BSML Division One: Clough Rangers 0, FC Moylena 3; Abbeyview 1, Ahoghill Rovers 0; Connor FC 4, Glenarm Rovers 3.

BSML Division Two: Cullybackey Olympic 4, FC Antrim 4; St Comgalls 3, Templepatrick 2; Holywell 1, Shore Wanderers 2; Michelin 1, Westend Athletic 0.

BSML Division Three: Atletico Antrim 3, Inver Athletic 3; Wakehurst Star 2, Cushendall FC 4; Wakehurst Athletic 4, Woodside 5; Lisnafillan Swifts 1, Cloughmills Thistle 1; Galgorm FC 4, Steadfast 3

FIXTURES

Saturday, September 4 (10.15am) - The Mortgage Shop Top Four Semi-Finals: All Saints OB v Harryville Homers (Ahoghill); Carniny Rangers v Abbeyview (Connor).

Arkmedia O'Kane Cup, round two: Randalstown v Cullybackey Olympic.

BSML Division One: Broadway Celtic v Ballykeel (Showgrounds 4); FC Moylena v Ahoghill Rovers (Forum); Carnlough Swifts v Glenarm Rovers; North End v Randalstown Sky Blues (Dunfane).

BSML Division Two: Braid United v Dunloy Athletic (Broughshane); FC Antrim v Michelin (Forum); FC Inter Stars v Seven Towers (Waveney 2); Holywell v Templepatrick (Forum); Shore Wanderers v St Comgalls.

BSML Division Three: Riverdale v Atletico Antrim (Wakehurst 2); Wakehurst Athletic v Wakehurst Star (Wakehurst 4); Cushendall FC v Lisnafillan Swifts; Steadfast v FC Penarol (Galgorm); Cloughmills Thistle v Galgorm; Inver Athletic v Woodside.