Since my first report we have had a defeat, a walkover and a win in the cup. The defeat against St. Mary’s was our first defeat of the season but a game that we can take some positives from. It was a game that we didn’t start well in but were unfortunate with an own goal to be one down at the break. We started brightly in the second half but a period of ill-discipline cost us with the sending off of Chris McMahon. Chris knows he needs to learn from this and will be a better player for it. Even with 10 men we were the better team and were unfortunate not to take anything from the game. In saying that St. Mary’s are a decent side and will be one of the contenders for promotion this season. Although the players were disappointed after that game the mood in training was good and with players returning from holidays it has been competitive.
The best way to recover from a defeat is to get back playing competitive football but with Castlecaulfields failure to field a team we were unable to do so as quick as we would have liked. Our Bob Radcliffe cup game away to Dromore Amateurs was a welcome return and ended up a relatively easy victory. We started slowly against Dromore who were content to sit back and try to hit us on the break. Peter Murphy pulled off a couple of good saves but overall we controlled the game. The injury to Sean Hand marred the victory and he will probably be out for a further three weeks. The most pleasing thing from the game was the fact that we created chances throughout the team with the goals coming from centre back and midfield.
Next up is Dunmurry Rec in the Irish Cup this Saturday in what is sure to be a tough encounter. We are delighted to be back in the Irish Cup especially after the great run the club had in getting to the semi-final two years ago. Although this is a completely new team we will be preparing in the same manner and will try to be as competitive as possible. The league will always be the priority this season but a run in any cup is always welcome. We have players returning from injury each week which will provide good competition for places and ensure those in the team do not take their places for granted. The coaching staff also make sure that the players are constantly reminded of how tough this season will be and we will achieve nothing if they are not prepared to work hard on the training pitch. This is where the experience of Ramy, Micky and Jervis has been vital and can only benefit the lads in their careers.
Finally I would like to thank the fans for their continued support. They have definitely brought something different to the Mid-Ulster this season and have been well received at each of the away grounds. Both home games have been well attended with over 250 at each game and long may it continue.
Yours in Sport