Wakehurst prepare for last game as Irish League club

Wakehurst were thankful that an injury sustained by midfielder Stephen Mellon (right) in the defeat at Dundela was not as serious as first feared.
Wakehurst were thankful that an injury sustained by midfielder Stephen Mellon (right) in the defeat at Dundela was not as serious as first feared.

Wakehurst are preparing for their last hurrah as an Irish League club - for at least a season.

The already-relegated Ballymena side will say their goodbyes to NIFL Championship Two this Saturday as they take on Newington YC.

“It’s going to be a bit of a bittersweet day,” admitted interim manager Doug Stevenson.

“On one hand, we will be glad to bring the curtain down on what has been a very difficult and disappointing season.

“But by the same token, we will be sad that we will be leaving this level of football because players want to play at as high a standard as they can.

“We will re-group in the summer to ensure that we get back to this level as quickly as possible.”

Wakehurst’s penultimate game ended in another defeat, 3-2 at Dundela, a side battling to avoid the same fate as the Ballymena men come the end of the season.

Wakehurst took the lead when Conor Gregg earned and then converted a penalty but the east Belfast side came back to lead 3-1 before the game was delayed due to an injury to Wakehurst midfielder Stephen Mellon.

“Stevie went down after a 50/50 tackle and was in some pain.

“There was a lump on his shin and there was some concern that he may have fractured his leg.

“Thankfully, it turned out that wasn’t the case because that would have been the crown topper on our season,” said Stevenson.

Kurtis McCartney fired home a free kick for Wakehurst in the closing stages but they were unable to force an equaliser as they fell to their 20th league defeat in 25 games of what has been a miserable campaign.

Wakehurst: Armstrong, Swan, Young, Colville, McCartney, Speirs, Laughlin, Mellon, Ross, Alexander, Gregg. Subs: Logan, Bradley, J Stevenson, D Stevenson.