SuperCupNI Day One

A visit to the Milk Cup (now known as SuperCupNI) has been on my list for a number of years and this year I finally made it. Attending Monday through to Wednesday I intended to post a kind of diary of the three days, hopefully attending three games each day.

We didn’t get off to the best of starts when a major queue at the car hire desk meant when we arrived at Clough to take in the Swindon Town v North Dublin Schoolboy League match the game was ten minutes old. Apparently Swindon had struck the woodwork twice in that opening spell. The rest of the match was pretty even with a couple of chances at either end but neither side could make the break through and the game finished goalless.

A trip to check into the hotel in Ballymena and a change to more appropriate attire for the sunny weather and it was off to Anderson Park in Coleraine. On arrival I discovered notepad and pen was back at the hotel. The game was a bit of a mis-match with the impressive GPS Bayern from the US winning comfortably against M Sports New Zealand by three goals to nil. After being fed and sourcing pen and paper it was off to Coleraine Showgrounds for Rangers first game.

Rangers 1 County Armagh 1

It was a disappointing performance and result from the Ibrox youngsters in a game they should have won. 

Rangers started well and with only two minutes on the clock Harris O’Connor picked out Matty Yates on the right side of the box and his volley was only just too high. A few minutes later Kai Kennedy fed Faisu Sangare but again the effort, this time from the edge of the box, was just too high.

When the game reached the ten minute mark County Armagh striker Alberto Balde turned on the left hand byline before shooting across the face of goal. Rangers were soon back on the front foot with Kai Kennedy passing to Euan Deveney on the left, he cut inside before testing David Walsh.

Within sixty seconds Rangers grabbed the lead, from Matty Yates pass over the defence and into the right side of the box Faisu Sangare capitalised on hesitation in the Armagh defence to shoot past David Walsh. Rangers missed a great chance to increase their lead three minutes later, Kai Kennedy’s pass split the defence and sent Darren Watterson racing clear, he continued into the box but was denied when David Walsh came from his line to make the block.

Rangers next opportunity came when Kai Kennedy combined with Ryan Muir on the right to create a chance for Matty Yates that forced David Walsh into a diving save low to his right.

Half-Time:- Rangers 1 County Armagh 1

An inspired substitution was the source of an early equaliser after the break, Shane Adamson swung in a corner from the right and substitute Harry Anderson rose highest to head past Lewis Budinauckas. Rangers were soon back on attack with Matty Yates passing to Kai Kennedy, he drove forward and  a good run from Simon Millar created the space for Kai Kennedy to shoot from the edge of the box but David Walsh was a match for it saving low to his left.

Rangers continued to have the bulk of the play but the game had entered the final couple of minutes when Matty Yates chased a ball from Kai Kennedy to the left hand byline, he forced his way past a defender but couldn’t beat David Walsh at his near post from a narrow angle.

Rangers had one final chance when the ball broke to Simon Millar inside the box but he couldn’t get a proper connection on his shot and David Walsh saved comfortably.

Full-Time:- Rangers 1 County Armagh 1

Rangers:- Lewis Budinauckas; Ryan Muir (Aaron Bryson 59 mins), Kyle McLelland, Harris O’Connor, Euan Deveney; Murray Miller; Ciaran Dickson, Kai Kennedy; Matty Yates, Faisu Sangare (Ally Monro 44 mins), Darren Watterson (Simon Millar 38 mins).

Not Used:- Jay Hogarth (Gk), Callum Biggar, Tom Henderson, Robbie Fraser.

County Armagh:- David Walsh; Jesse Carson, Caolan Connell, Shea Conway; Jack Scott,  Chris Hutchinson, Harry Evans, Adam Wright, Shane Adamson (Dane McCullough 59 mins); Alberto Balde, John McGovern (Harry Anderson HT). 

Not Used:- Jason Dodds, Jamie Haire, James Black, Matthew Willis, Sam Monaghan.


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