Rathcoole (A)

Sat 13th Aug - 11:30am
The Strollers made the trip to Newtownabbey to take on Stephen Coppen’s Rathcoole, back in Junior football after two season plying their trade in the Intermediate division of the BPL so it was going to be a stern test for Jason Connolly’s young side. 
The game started off faced paced and Rathcoole created a couple of early chances without really testing Dean Adams in the Wakehurst goal as the Strollers found their feet and grew in to the game as it progressed.
The visitors opened the scoring on 29 minutes when Paul Gilchrist found Jamie Speirs, who in turn played a terrific one-two with Ross Hunter, who’s neat flick sent Speirs on a driving run in to the box and he kept calm to clinically finish to the left of the Rathcoole goalkeeper.
The Strollers could have and probably should have went 2-0 up but for some heroic saves between the sticks by the home ‘keeper as the half finished with Wakehurst 1-0 in front.
Half Time: Rathcoole 0-1 Wakehurst Strollers
Strollers took a bit of time to settle in the second period and the hosts created some good chances but Jonny and Matthew Logan, Allen & Gregg were in terrific form at the back while Dean Adams was solid throughout.
A big kick from the latter was flicked on by Hunter in to the path of Stephen Quigley and the big striker finished through the legs of the goalkeeper to make it 2-0 just after the hour.
Two became three nine minutes later when Arron Lemon found space on the left, played a one-two with Connolly and drove down the flank before cutting back for Hunter who had time to take a touch and finish well for his first goal for the club.
Both sides kept going and Rathcoole were unlucky not to register when their striker found space in the box but his left footed shot was saved by terrific reactions from Dean Adams.

A special mention also to Owen Gregg who played his first game since January 2015 following a serious knee injury and never looked like he had even been out!
Starting Team: D. Adams, M. Logan, C. Allen (C), O. Gregg, J. Logan, J. Speirs, P. Gilchrist, J. Connolly, A. Lemon, R. Hunter, P. Adams.
Subs: S. Quigley (on for Adams, 45), A. Campbell (on for Speirs, 66), P. Nowak (on for Connolly, 72), G. Fleck (on for Hunter, 77), A. Gault, (on for Gregg, 74), J. Cupples (on for Gilchrist, 80).
Next up for the Strollers is Wakehurst Star on Monday night at Dunfane Park at 7pm before a trip to Ballysillan Swifts on August 20th.