Bannsiders suffer late defeat

COLERAINE Women’s manager Alison Nicholl reflected on last night’s defeat to Killen Rangers Ladies…

The Bannsiders had led 3-1 at the break through goals from Chloe Campbell and Shairee McVey (2) but they would be dealt with two late sucker punches as they were beaten 4-3.

The fixture was the Women’s first in the NIWFA Championship and despite being disappointed at the result, Nicholl preferred to look at the positives as several members of her squad made their debuts.

“We started really brightly and settled in well in the first ten minutes being end to end football both teams creating chances,” she said.

“Charlotte McAllister latched onto a through ball from midfield and was brought down in box for a penalty, which Chloe Campbell on her debut stepped up and slotted home.

“Both teams were playing good passing football on the fantastic pitch. We won a corner and Chloe Campbell delivered and Shairee McVey headed home to make it 2-0.

“We were creating lots of chances by getting ball wide and getting Storm Ballantyne and Rachel Madden onto it.

“Killen pulled one back near half time but another excellent delivery saw McVey head home again to make it 3-1.

“It looked like we were going to take all three points, but Killen started to pile on pressure and mistakes by our goalkeeper allowed them to score two goals in quick succession.

“Having regular ‘keeper Cerys Sharkey out injured certainly left a massive gap and in the final minutes, Killen went ahead again from a tame shot that fumbled into the back of the net.

“I am very disappointed to have lost the game after leading. However, the positives we have to take is that we had several great performances. For example, Leah Pollock and Chloe Campbell impressed on their debuts, with Storm Ballantyne being the best player on the pitch in what was her most eye catching performance to date as she was a constant thorn in the side by getting joy down the right hand side.”

Nicholl reflected playing at The Showgrounds for the first time as her troops face Ballymacash Rangers next Wednesday on the Ballycastle Road (May 11).

“It was a great experience playing at The Showgrounds as it’s a fantastic pitch,” she added.

“It takes a bit of getting used to as it’s a big pitch and we need to work on match fitness as Killen were stronger in last ten minutes.

“Our next game is at home to Ballymacash Rangers and they are a decent side, but in reality, there are no easy games in the Championship and we just have to go again.

“I extend my thanks to everyone at The Showgrounds for their support and the use of fantastic facilities.”