Bann blow points at Havelock Park

On Saturday past Bann first eleven entertained Kilkeel in the early start at Havelock fully expecting to collect another three points to keep their league challange alive.
From the start the home side had a lot of possession but with Kilkeel packing the midfield area in an effort to suffocate the home sides attacking threat chances were few and far between. The first real shot in anger came after Stevie Dowds burst into the circle and fired a reverse shot over the crossbar. Five minutes later Bann took the lead when Dane Ward was on hand to finish from close range following a slick attack. Bann continued to boss the match with Kilkeel only seen as a threat on the occasional breakaway. It seemed that it would be a matter of how many the home side would score. On twenty minutes Ross McCandless powered a penalty corner into the roof of the net to give the home side the comfort of a two goal lead. Bann could and probably should have been further ahead but a combination of sloppy finishing and some inspired goalkeeping kept the score down. Five minutes from halftime Bann conceded a soft goal to give Kilkeel a foothold in the match they barely deserved.
Half Time Bann 2 Kilkeel 1
The second half turned out to be a dour atritional affair with neither side creating any clear cut chances. Bann had had to reshuffle their defence when Ross McCandless was forced to retire with a toe injury first suffered earlier in the season. Just as the game appeared to be petering out Kilkeel were awarded a penalty corner from which they forced the equaliser. This seemed to instill confidence in the visitors as they pressed for an unlikely winner. This left them open to the counter attack and from one of these the visiting keeper produced a top class save from a Ben Cosgrove reverse. Bann continued to attack during the remaining five minutes but failed to show sufficient composure to create one final chance. This result while not terminal in the race for the league certainly makes it even more difficult for the locals as they endeavour catching Garvey at the top of the table.
Final Score Bann 2 Kilkeel 2
Team: Aaron Appleton, Matthew Bell, Ross McCandless, Stephen Forbes, Drew Carlisle, Philip Brown, Hugh McShane, Ross Beattie, Owen Magee, Dane Ward, Stephen Dowds. Subs. Scott McCandless, Peter Brown, Ben Cosgrove.