The Ants made it 3 wins in a row after a fine 2-0 win as Dunipace visited McKenna Park on Saturday. We had to shuffle the pack once again as injuries and holidays forced the management into more changes following the last minute win away to Ashfield, Ross McDougall came in for Donnelly, Andy Scanlan came back in to the side for McManus, Gamba replaced Adam Dougan and Dean McKay made his first league start of the season.
It was Dunipace who threatened first when McGrandles through ball found Hughes, The Ants defence claimed for offside but the ref ignored the pleas. Wallace was quick off his line to narrow the angle and force the ‘Pace striker wide, McPherson latched onto the ball and cut it back to the aforementioned Hughes but his shot was excellently blocked by McDougall and out for a corner, then Wallace did well to tip the resultant corner over the top of the bar. McKay and Heron linked up well moments later when the winger found Heron but his cross was nicked off the head of Duncan by Rodger.
The Ants were starting to gather a bit of momentum now and almost took the lead in the 12th minute, Conway won a header in the middle of the park and knocked the ball down to McLaughlin, his little flick through found MIlarvie who raced through on goal but his shot was saved down low by Robertson and cleared by Rodger who gathered the rebound before Duncan could latch on to the loose ball. The Ants were starting to control the game and looked the most likely to open the scoring and that turned out to be the case in the 22nd minute. McKay was bundled down right on the edge of the box and from the resultant free kick CHRIS MCLAUGHLIN grabbed his second goal in two games as he fired past Robertson to put the Ants into the lead. Despite their dominance the Ants almost found themselves clawed back onto level terms but Rodger put his header just past the post and the Ants faithful breathed a sigh of relief.
This close shave gave Dunipace a lift and they had their best spell of the match for the next five or so minutes trying to knock the ball about but only created one chance when Hughes fired over from a McPherson flick on. The home side then went close when Heron fired just over from the edge of the box then Duncan headed inches over the top. As half time approached Heron almost found Duncan after a good run down the left wing, he cut inside but his pass was intercepted by McGlinchie and cleared to safety. Right on half time Stephenson cut inside, his shot was partially blocked but found it’s way to Grant just outside the box but the ‘Pace full back fired over and the Ants went in a goal to the good at half time.
HALF TIME ANTS 1 v 0 DUNIPACE
The Ants came out in a bullish mood and were right onto the front foot, a flowing move down the right hand side saw Gamba’s cross into the box blocked for a corner, McLaughlin swung the ball in and found it’s way tot he back post but McLean couldn’t keep his shot down and it remained 1-0 to the Ants. McDougall then sent Duncan through on goal as he beat the offside trap to bear down on Robertson’s goal, but as he went to shoot Rodger made a great tackle to deny the Ants striker and the chance was gone. In the 67th minute the Ants finally doubled their lead. McLean stole the ball in the middle of the park and charged forward, then slipped the ball to Milarvie, his cross found JACK HERON who adjusted his body well to volley past Robertson and give the Ants a two goal cushon. Duncan then had the chance to put the result beyond any doubt when he did well to rob a ‘Pace defender and raced through on goal, he tried to round the keeper but got forced wide as he looked destined to score but did well to regainhis composure to square the ball to McLaughlin but he leant back slightly and his shot went over the bar and the chance was gone. Donaghy then played Gordon in on goal but he couldn’t get enough behind his shot to trouble Robertson then McLean dragged a shot past the post in the last minute.
FULL TIME ANTS 2 (McLaughlin 22, Heron 67) v 0 DUNIPACE
Ants Website Man of the Match – Chris McLaughlin