Albion came home from the long trip to Banteer with a well earned point after a dogged display saw them wear down the Saxone Cup finalists. Albion looked the better of the two in the first half creating more chances with Banteer trying shots from long range as their only outlet as a threat on goal. Rob Daly will feel he should have had Albion 1-0 when a 1 on 1 shot saw the ball go wide, Tim Harrington with something similar moments later. Ben O’Donnell showed the full back his pace and trickery a few times and caused some hairy moments for the Banteer defence. As the game wore on Banteer were getting frustrated as their centre mid started lashing out off the ball and away from the ref. 0-0 half time.
Banteer looked to have upped their game at the start of the second half but Deccy Murray & Jamie Daly were having none of it in their first pairing at centre half. Albion went 1-0 up after a scrappy clearance attempt from a James O’Driscoll corner saw the ball bounce up, it went behind Dalys head when he flicked his head backwards for a back of the head-headed goal – lovely finish! Not even 2 minutes later Martin Ryan broke up an attacked from Banteer and played the ball through to Rob Daly who then hit a superb through ball breakings Tim Harrington away from the back 4 to toe poke past the on coming keeper. 2-0 Albion with 52 minutes gone. Albion were not slowing down either as JP Hayes was instrumental in most breaks for Albion, playing in a central role using Aaron O’Sullivan on the left and switching play to Ben O’Donnell who was still causing problems for Banteers left full. Harrington had another chance when he tried to lob the keeper and another when his shot went whiskers wide. Banteer did find the net when Timmy “knees” (as they call him) broke down the right, James O’Driscoll clipped the ball away from him, then “knees” threw himself down and caught O’Driscoll with his elbow to the face. Result – free kick to Banteer. David Pallas was on hand to head home to make it 2-1 with 15 minutes to go. 10 minutes later it was all square when Timmy “knees” found himself unmarked and finished to the bottom left. Albion defended well for the remaining minutes to see the game out at 2-2.
Performance of the season so far from a much better looking Albion side who used ball well and defended excellently throughout, bar 2 occasions. Heavy legs and the lack of squad members (only 1 sub available) proved the difference in the end. But they will take confidence from this going into the 2nd Round of the County Cup next Sunday vs Glanworth.
Team. Mike Walsh GK, Darren Daly RB, James O’Driscoll LB, Jamie Daly CB, Declan Murray (Capt) CB, Ben O Donnell RW, Aaron O’Sullivan LW, Martin Ryan CM, JP Hayes CM (David O’Hare ’82), Rob Daly AMF, Tim Harrington FW.