Colts dig deep, rescue a point in Dromore.
On Saturday Queen’s Colts returned to action for the first time since mid-December. Unavailability, promotion to the 2nds , injury and training policy left manager Ian McArthur with only twelve players for the trip to rural County Down.
Several squad players made their first starts for Queen’s who lined up with three at the back in a needs must situation. Debutant Anton McSheffrey played on the left at the back with coach Glen Andrews employed as a holding midfielder. Joe Beams and Sam Kyle were handed starts up front.
Queen’s had a comfortable victory over Dromore earlier in the season at the Dub but the home team were a far better unit on this occasion and dominated the early exchanges.
The students initially struggled to deal with both a strong gusting wind and some neat football from their opponents. Several long throw-ins put the youngsters under pressure but gradually the Colts came into the contest and carved out a couple of half-chances of their own.
Midway through the half Dromore almost took the lead but Andrew Gawne produced a fantastic one-handed save to keep the scores level. However, as the half progressed Queen’s had some narrow escapes and finally Dromore scored when Gawne could only parry a cross-shot from the right and the ball was volleyed in off the crossbar to the delight of the home fans.
Queen’s reacted well to the setback and started playing some better football. Nelson and Bravo took control of midfield and driving runs from both almost produced and equaliser. After some neat inter-passing in midfield fullback Robbie Reid got free on the right and delivered a marvellous low cross which Andrew White converted at the back post. However, Queen’s finally fell foul of the long throw-in and when the ball was not properly cleared an Amateur’s forward squeezed the ball home from close range on the stroke of half-time.
The Colts had the intermittent breeze behind them in the second period and began to look a lot more menacing. Bravo, Nelson and Greenlees began taking the game to Dromore with surging runs in what was now a far more even contest. Nelson rattled the crossbar with a terrific left foot shot from distance and was also just wide with a free-kick as the game entered the final quarter. One of several dangerous breakaways by the home side provided a great chance for them to put the game to bed but the ball was dragged wide.
Andrews was treated for cramp as the students began to tire but in with five minutes remaining a long punt from Gawne evaded the home defence allowing Kyle to nip in and side-foot the ball beyond the keeper. 2-2.
Queen’s went flat out for a winner and Bravo went very close from the edge of the box just before the whistle but The Amateurs held on for what was probably a fair result.
In the circumstances this was a good point for the Colts who will hope to have several regulars available in the coming weeks. Robbie Reid was the pick of several outstanding performers for the students in a well refereed game which was played in excellent spirit throughout.
Dromore Amateurs 2nds 2 – 2 Queen’s Colts