Wakehurst progress in North West Cup

Wakehurst FC.
Wakehurst FC.

Wakehurst made it back-to-back wins for the first time under manager Paul Muir at the weekend.

For the second successive Saturday, the Ballymena men overcame the challenge of Tobermore United, while the 1-0 scoreline was also identical to the previous week.

This, time, however, the win was enough to ensure that Wakehurst made progress in the Craig Memorial North West Cup.

With Wakehurst no longer eligible to play in the Steel & Sons Cup - organised by the County Antrim FA - the club has opted to take part in the North West Cup as its divisional competition.

Muir’s response to the previous week’s victory was to opt for a similar formation, although a number of changes in personnel were enforced upon the manager.

Striker Jordan Foster is going to university but Muir was able to replace him with leading goalscorer Tiernan Rafferty.

Muir, who had stepped in to fill a defensive gap last week, stepped back into the dugout, replacing himself with Karl Steele while Kurtis McCartney returned on the left and striker Nigel Turner made his first competitive start.

Wakehurst suffered an early blow when Andy Laughlin was left bloodied by a head in jury but the tough midfielder played on.

After a scoreless opening half, Muir made a double change, bringing on Lee McClelland in the centre of midfield and Jamie Montgomery on the left wing and this proved to be the catalyst for Wakehurst taking the game to Tobermore and they were rewarded when Tiaran Rafferty slotted past the Tobermore keeper for what proved to be the only goal of the game.

“All in all, it probably wasn’t our best performance but we’re through to the next round where we play Coleraine Reserves, who we beat 2-0 in pre-season,” said Muir, whose side return to Belfast Telegraph Championship Two action this Saturday when they face landlords Moyola Park at Mill Meadow.