Southside Rangers continue to keep tabs on the leading sides in the South Belfast Youth League after two more victories last week.
During the week, goals from Dylan Graham, Dylan Hamill, Corey McDowell and Josh McCready gave Colin Stewart’s boys a 4-2 win over Doyle.
And the Ballymena boys continued their impressive form on Saturday as they romped to a 7-1 win over Ards Academy.
Ards stunned the visitors in the opening minutes when a defensive communication error gifted the home striker with the opening goal.
Looking bemused following the goal Southside slowly gathered rhythm and Jack Livingstone began finding freedom down the left and pinged a perfect 40 yard pass to Dylan Hamill who controlled before playing Corey McDowell in on goal. From the pass Corey made no mistake and levelled on 20 minutes.
A second goal remained elusive until the half hour mark when Lewis Erwin gained possession in the penalty area and he neatly controlled and glided past two Ards defenders before shooting home across the keeper into the far corner.
The lead was extended further on 35 minutes when again Dylan Hamill turned provider this time combining neatly with Ross Swan who made no mistake from 15 yards out.
The second half saw the long awaited return of Southside goal machine Sam McNiece who has been out with injury for the past 6 weeks and his impact was immediate as he converted Richard Wilson’s clever through ball to make it 4-1.
Another half-time sub, Gareth Williams, also back after surgery seven weeks ago, would not be denied his share of the applause when he picked out Ryan Stewart with an excellent through ball from which Ryan clinically finished into the far corner, making it 5-1.
McNiece watched a bicycle kick effort sail narrowly over before he added his second goal of the game on 70 mins making it 6-1. Ards players’ frustrations started to show and they had a player dismissed for a late tackle on 72 mins.
Southside remained disciplined and in the dying minutes Ryan Stewart added more misery to the home side when he added his second and the team’s seventh with a clever finish.
After the opening minutes’ mayhem had been overcome, this was a sound performance. A convincing win away from home with goals coming from all areas of the team.
The quality and depth of the squad has been severely tested over recent weeks and to maintain the challenge with the leading pack is testimony to how strong it really is.
Southside: Wylie, Hamill, Wallace, Allen, Erwin, Graham, Hogg, Swan, Livingstone, McDowell, Wilson, Corrigan, Williams, Pogue, McNiece, R Stewart.