A Ben McCormick hat trick helped the 13s on their way to a win to start the New Year
After the three week Christmas break, Carniny U13's travelled to Hydebank Playing Fields in Belfast to face Comber Rec in what was to be a hugely entertaining game. From the kick off Carniny were in attacking mood and had Comber on the back foot with some quick passing between captain Tyler Boyd, Zak McKendry and Sam Bell with the latter playing a lovely ball over the top for winger Ben McCormick to run on to who's rasping shot flew just inches over the crossbar. Carniny and McCormick were rewarded just 5 minutes later when more fine passing saw the ball find the flying winger again and this time his shot found the back of the net. Carniny continued to press and added a second when they were awarded a free kick 20 yards from goal after striker Sam Percy was fouled. Captain Boyd fired a corker that the Comber keeper couldn't keep out. Two nil up after 20 minutes, Carniny took their foot off the pedal allowing Comber to put some attacks together and threaten the Carniny goal and it took some alert goal keeping from Colby Davidson to rush out a clear the danger. Comber attacked again and this time a great last ditched tackle from defender Cora Henderson cleared the danger this time. Carniny didn't heed the warning signs and conceded when they failed to deal with a forward pass and the Comber striker slotted passed the advancing Davidson. Comber continued to attack and a combination of good degrading and good goalkeeping kept the score at 2-1 as the half-time whistle blew.
The second half started the same as the first with Carniny on the attack. Sharp play from Harvey Mills, Josh Rainey and Kaiden Gallagher saw the ball played out to Tyler Barr who took on the Comber defence down the right and Percy was unlucky not to get on the end of it.
Goal number 3 for Carniny came after more fine play saw young McCormick slot home his second goal of the game. Comber continued to probe and more alert team work between Henderson and Davidson snuffed out danger. Carniny added a fourth and McCormick got a deserved hat-trick after a through ball from Boyd found substitute Marcus Rodgers whose shot was saved by the Comber keeper but rebounded to McCormick who made no mistake. McCormick and Barr swapped wings but continued to terrorise the Comber defence and Carniny were unlucky not to add to their 4 goals.
The game was more open going into the last 10 minutes with both teams looking to attack. The referee gave Comber a lifeline when he awarded them a penalty against right back Kaiden Gallagher. Although Davidson guessed the right way he couldn't just reach the ball as it went in off the inside of the post. With the score at 4-2 Comber pulled another goal back after Carniny failed to challenge a run down the right wing by the striker who beat 2 Carniny players then lift the ball over the advancing Davidson to set up a nervy last 5 minutes.
Carniny composed themselves and managed to see out the game to claim a deserved 4-3 victory and start the New Year in winning ways.
Man of the match went jointly to Cora Henderson and Colby Davidson for their fine defensive and goalkeeping performance. Special mention also to hat trick hero Ben McCormick.
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Team selection has not been published for this fixture yet.