Firsts exit Marshall Cup in first round.

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

ON Saturday the first team travelled to Portadown to face Hanover FC in the first round of this season's Marshall Cup.

The game got underway and right from the offset both teams had a couple of good chances.

Firstly Hanover hit the bar from outside the area and at the other end of the pitch the Hanover keeper made a great point blank save with his face from a McBurney shot from two yards out.

Moneyslane had a big penalty claim turned down as Ferguson drove into the box it looked like he had his legs taken from under him but the claims fell on deaf ears as the referee booked the Slane midfielder for his protests.

Hanover went in front on 12 minutes when their striker shot from inside the area but unfortunately for Slane the ball took a big deflection off Larmour to wrong foot McClurg in the Slane goal.

With 15 minutes gone Hanover were very lucky not to be reduced to 10 men after an off the ball incident which saw Cochrane lash out at Moneyslane front man Spence.

The referee spoke with the Hanover defender and issued no cards much to the disbelief of the Moneyslane players.

Moneyslane started to push hard to get back into the game and had two excellent chances well saved by Short in the Hanover goal. Firstly Kingsmore made the big keeper make a great save, again point blank and minutes later it was McBurney again who called him into work with a fine shot inside the box which saw the keeper push it around the post. Hanover were always dangerous on the break and were awarded a dangerous free kick on the edge of the Slane box.

Debutant McClurg, in the Moneyslane goal, made a great save down to his left and the danger was cleared. Ryan Beckett was next to go close when he hit a shot from 35 yards out which went wide of the upright with the keeper rooted to the spot.

Half-time: Hanover 1 Moneyslane 0

Hanover came out the second half and created a number of early chances with McClurg in the Slane goal producing 3-4 top class saves.

One in particular stood out when Bradley went one-on-one with the young shot stopper.

He spread himself well and made a fantastic save inside the area. Moneyslane's first attempt in the second half came from a corner where Ringland set up McLean on the edge of the area, the defenders shot went over the top off the Hanover crossbar.

The big turning point in the game came on the 65th minute mark when Ryan Beckett won the ball back in midfield but the ball broke loose and the Slane midfield made an excellently timed tackle only for the referee to produce a red card for excessive force!

McBurney made way for McIlroy as manager Thornton tried to get more balance to the team. Minutes after the red card, Dean Spence turned Taylor on the halfway line but was rugby tackled to the ground as he looked to advance in on the last defender. Taylor was shown a yellow card for the cynical foul.

Spence had to get treatment on the left shoulder.

The wee man came back into the field and almost got the scores level when he turned Rooney in the left corner position before driving into the box where he pulled back for Kingsmore whose shot was well saved again by Short in the Hanover goal this time with his feet.

Montgomery and new signing Balazs came on for Ferguson and Spence with 15 minutes to go.

Moneyslane drew level on the 84th minute mark when Kingsmore was upended on the edge of the Hanover area. Ryan McIlroy placed the ball and curled a great effort past Short in goal which was well deserved with Moneyslane second half performance with a man less.

On the strike of full time Moneyslane keeper McClurg produced another fantastic save low to his right to push a Reagan shot around the post for a corner kick. The resulting corner was well defended and the referee blew for full time.

Full time: Hanover 1-1 Moneyslane.

The first period of extra time got underway and Hanover won a soft penalty when Bradley and McLean tangled legs as they both ran towards a loose ball towards the corner flag. The referee was quick to point to the spot. McClelland sent McClurg the wrong way to restore the home side's lead.

Moneyslane almost drew level minutes later when Larmour's header was cleared off the line from a corner kick from the right.

The second half of extra time as expected the lads started leaving gaps when pushing for the equaliser Hanover hit the bar and McClurg made another fine stop from a Bradley shot inside the area. Moneyslane pushed hard and undoubtedly were caught on the break as Hanover made it 3-1 with the final shot of the match.

Full time: Hanover 3-1 Moneyslane.

Manager Thornton spoke after the game. He said that the "boys worked their socks off and every single player give it everything and that's all I could ask for".

"To come to a place like Hanover, go a goal down early on and to come back with a performance like that speaks volumes about this group.

"We should have had a penalty early on and Hanover were lucky to keep 11 on the pitch something we didn't do, but again I want my midfielders to make the tackles - the referee couldn't wait to get the red out on that occasion for some reason! "We didn't get the run of the green today on a number of occasions. I mean, the penalty against was laughable but what can you do? You just get on with things.

"The boys that were on that pitch today gave everything for the badge and that's exactly the performance we were looking following last week's disappointment. I'd like to wish Hanover all the best in the next round of the competition."


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