Wakehurst suffer Intermediate Cup exit

Wakehurst FC.
Wakehurst FC.

WAKEHURST boss Ian Gregg insisted that his side were the architects of their own downfall as they bowed out of the Coca-Cola IFA Intermediate Cup at the weekend.

The Ballymena men were beaten 2-1 by Amateur League Dromara Village in the fourth round of the competition, at Mill Meadow.

“I felt that we had our pocket picked a bit because we had dominated the game,” Gregg told Times Sport.

“Unfortunately we paid the price for a couple of defensive howlers which ended up gifting Dromara two goals.

“I actually thought that Dunmurry, who we had beaten in the last round the previous week, posed us more problems but Dromara are in the next round and good luck to them,” added Gregg.

In a first half of few scoring opportunities, the best one fell to the home side in the 44th minute as Jason Paul broke free on the right and delivered a superb cross to the back post where David Gage found himself unmarked, but the usually lethal defender screwed his header well wide of the target, as the half ended scoreless.

After a bright opening to the second half, the game then followed the pattern of the first half with both defences denying the opposition any space and it became a dour affair with all the makings of a 0-0 draw and extra time.

Then with 14 minutes remaining, Wakehurst gifted the visitors a goal. Mark Crawford, whose game had been faultless to this point, inexplicably tried a back-pass to his keeper, from just inside the halfway line and Seamus McDonald was quickly onto it and coolly lobbed the advancing Marc Maybin from 25 yards.

Things got worse for the hosts on 80 minutes as a hopeful ball from defender Jim Girvan by-passed the home defence and Liam Hagan caught Maybin out of position cleverly lobbing the ball over him from 20 yards.

Andy Laughlin finally grabbed his team a lifeline on 89 minutes, shooting through a crowded penalty area for 2-1 but Wakehurst could not fashion an equaliser.

Wakehurst: M Maybin, P Alexander, R Colville, M Crawford, D Gage, L McCaughern, R Young, A Laughlin, R Gregg, A Lemon, J Paul. Subs: J Lemon, S McKinney, D Parker, J Alexander, R Culbertson.

* Wakehurst have been given a boost with news that leading scorer Conor Gregg will remain at the club until at least the end of the season.

The striker, currently sidelined through injury, turned down a move to an Irish Premiership club during the transfer window.

“He would have gone with our blessing but he made his own decision,” said boss Gregg.

“The move might still be in the pipeline in the summer because the club in question have said they will continue to monitor Conor’s situation and they have offered him the chance to train with them once a week.”