Ballyclare Comrades 0
BASEMENT boys Dergview recorded their biggest win of the season to make it seven points from the last nine at Dixon Park on Saturday.
And defender Graham Crown was something of an unlikely hero by scoring two of his side’s four goals.
The other two were scored by Mikhail Kennedy, who made it six in the last seven games, and Jamie Browne, who wrapped up a truly eye-catching win with the final goal of an extraordinary game.
There have been signs in recent times that Dergview are turning the corner following a horror start to the season, during which they collected just one point from their opening nine games.
Saturday was the Castlederg outfit’s fifth win of a campaign that appears to be gathering a little momentum.
It’s also fair to say that in recent weeks their squad is looking a lot healthier. As well as bringing in new signings Aidy McCauley and Ben Gallagher – on loan from Dungannon Swifts – Calvin McCallion and club captain Blaine Burns have both returned from injury.
Sean McCarron also played 90 minutes for the club’s reserves on Saturday and all of sudden manager Tommy Canning has options where he didn’t a number of weeks ago.
Canning handed a debut to Ben Gallagher and the attacker certainly made his presence felt while Burns returned to the starting line-up for the first time in four months following surgery. The skipper provided the platform in midfield along with Stephen Doherty and Niall Fielding, who had one of his best games in a Dergview shirt.
The visitors threatened from the word go with Doherty smacking the crossbar after Kennedy’s initial shot was saved by Declan Breen.
Doherty then just failed to apply the finishing touch after Breen had saved a shot by Gallagher before Dean Corrigan went close with a header.
Ten minutes in the visitors made the early breakthrough when the home defence failed to deal with a Doherty free kick and Crown reacted first to head a dropping ball into the corner of the net.
Kennedy then doubled the advantage when he got free down the inside left channel to fire inside Breen’s far post. Comrades were visibly rattled and on 27 minutes they conceded a third when Crown again popped up at the back post to score his second of the afternoon.
At this stage the home side steadied their ship and probably had the better of the opening second half exchanges without really threatening McGarvey’s goal.
Dergview held firm and slowly but surely gain a foothold again. Then on 61 minutes Comrades defender Conal McGrandles picked up a second yellow and duly received his marching orders.
Less than 60 seconds following that dismissal Browne scampered clear on the left to make it 4-0 by steering the ball low inside Breen far upright.
Against the 10 men, Dergview remain on top for the remainder of the contest with Breen denying Kennedy a second while on another occasion Gallagher looked sure to mark his debut with a goal but the ball was taken off his toe as he was about to pull the trigger.
Ballinamallard meanwhile returned to winning ways with substitute John Edgar grabbing the only goal of the game against Ards at Ferney Park.
On 77 minutes, six minutes after replacing Peter Campbell, Edgar connected with a low driven cross from Caolan McAleer to secure a much needed three points for Harry McConkey’s men.