1st Bangor FC - 18th Newtownabbey 3-3

1st Bangor's season started with a positive performance against a resilient 18th Newtownabbey side which ended in a 3-3 draw at the Drome.

18th Newtownabbey started the brighter putting a new look 1st Bangor side onto the back foot with some early corners. However, a 1st Bangor side containing a host of new signings, including Stuart Beattie, Jamie Bryson, Michael Hunter and Diarmuid McPhillips soon got into their stride. Ryan Oliver in particular linking well with Stuart Beattie and the central midfield two of Michael Hunter and Aaron Caldwell to pile on the pressure down the right hand side.

1st Bangor eventually took the lead through a beautifully worked set piece, Chris Nicholl's long throw expertly flicked on at the near post by Michael Corkum over the keeper and into the far corner of the net to make it 1-0 to 1st Bangor.

1st Bangor then extended their lead not long after when new signing Diarmuid "Ducky" McPhillips followed up to slam home after George Chelariu had latched onto a slick through ball and forced a fine save from the keeper who could only turn it onto the post for Ducky to fire home and send the home crowd quackers.

With the challenges flying in from both sides and the referee letting a lot go, the second half saw the feisty affair continue in the same vain. However, with 1st Bangor still maintaining the majority of the possession, it was almost inevitable that if 18th Newtownabbey were to get back into the match it would be via a set-piece or piece of bad refereeing, unfortunately for 1st Bangor it was both. First came a very soft penalty against Michael Corkum which was duly converted to make it 2-1 to 1st Bangor. Then came another controversially awarded set piece which saw poor marking from 1st Bangor allow 18th Newtownabbey's central midfielder to convert a header from close range making it 2-2.

1st Bangor must have been thinking "here we go again" after letting a 2-0 lead slip several times last season but this year's squad are definitely made of sterner stuff and piled the pressure once more onto 18th Newtownabbey with Stephen McCormick forcing some last ditch defending with a fine run down the left hand side and into the box and Chris Scott forcing a fine save from the keeper after latching onto a deflected free-kick. The pressure eventually told when a blocked shot from Scott fell kindly into Michael Corkum's path in the box who then calmly squared it to Ducky to fire a fine left-foot finish into the far corner and give 1st Bangor back their lead.

With time virtually up, 1st Bangor only had to see out a final set piece to seal the win but it wasn't to be, the ball in causing havoc once more and somehow dropping kindly to the 18th Newtownabbey midfielder to grab his second goal of the game and give 18th Newtownabbey a hard-fought point.

Next up for 1st Bangor is a tough away match to Mossley on Tuesday night.

- MIN. 25 - 1-0, 1st BANGOR SCORE, MICHAEL CORKUM, after Chris Nicholl's assist!!! 
- MIN. 35 - 2-0, 1st BANGOR SCORE, Diarmuid McPhillips!!! 
- Min. 55 - 2-1, 18th Newtownabbey score. 
- Min. 70 - 2-2, 18th Newtownabbey score. 
- MIN. 85 - 3-2, 1st BANGOR SCORE, Diarmuid McPhillips!!! 
- Min. 90 - 3-3, 18th Newtownabbey score. 

1st BANGOR FC:  C Bell - S Beattie, C Nicholl, M Corkum, J Bryson - R Oliver, A Caldwell, M Hunter, S McCormick (C Scott) - G Chelariu, D McPhillips. 

1st Bangor FC - 18th Newtownabbey 3-3

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