Albion capped a season with an almost perfect performance against a dejected Strand United in Ballyaney tonight. Albion had pride to play for after a 6-1 defeat at the weekend cut short any hope of a league title or promotion, Strand would be guaranteed the league title with a win. A crowd of 100+ attended with Strand having the 90% majority support. The Albion bench and Rylane Celtic were supporting the Courcey men on the other sideline. Strand looked more composed at the start with Albion forcing themselves into a couple of unnecessary mistakes. A short clearance led to Strands opener, the left full floating in a cross to which the winger headed home though there was a slight hint of offside about it. It didn’t take long for Albion to respond as the Strand centre half spent too long on the ball allowing Tim to close him down and lashing home with his left. Tim had Albion 2-1 up when Darren won the ball just inside his own half, perfectly cutting open a Strand attack and sending the ball over the right full. It landed on Tims right and he belted home to make it 2-1. Albion should have been given at least one penalty after Rob was brought down twice in the area, both pretty blatant.
Albions second half performance ranks among the best. From Stevie D out to Tim, a perfect display resulted in one way traffic and not let up in effort all round. Darren & Jamie were giving the wingers nothing, Colm and Ger were winning everything in the air and on the ground. Japs and James were causing hassle for the full backs. Gally and Conan had completely taken charge of midfield with Tim and Rob causing all sorts of problems for the back four. Tim grabbed his perfect hat trick with a header that went straight through the keepers hands. 4 minutes later Gally hit a shot off his right that went through the keepers legs. Strand were lucky to keep all 11 men on the field after Tim was taken out of it with no one to beat but the keeper. Strand did get a lovely goal with 15mins remaining but Albion held out for a great win.
Team. Steve, Darren, Jamie, Colm, Ger, Japs, James (Jody ’85), Gally, Conan, Rob, Tim. Subs not used: Dan Coleman, Martin Ryan.