McElroy on target with penalty double for Annagh

Dean Smith. 'Pic by PressEye Ltd.
Dean Smith. 'Pic by PressEye Ltd.

Chris McElroy’s composure from the penalty spot on two occasions left Annagh United with a share of the Championship One spoils on Saturday.

The summer signing slotted home two spot-kicks as Annagh enjoyed leads of 1-0 and 2-1 before a late equaliser left Ballyclare Comrades on level terms.

Annagh suffered a red card after the interval with the loss of goalkeeper Ciaran Fox - with the hosts also picking up a dismissal in the closing moments.

The point on the road marked a positive start to the March fixture list following February’s string of disappointments.

However, Annagh boss Dean Smith finished frustrated at the final outcome.

“It was a strange afternoon as, in some ways, we have got to be pleased with the effort that went into that performance but it was also disappointing to have the lead then lose it over the closing few minutes,” said Smith. “We had to play with 10 men for around 40 minutes following Ciaran’s red card.

“Marc Robinson is still limping from his recent ligament injury but came down to help Ciaran with the pre-match warm-up and support the team.

“We put him on the teamsheet as a substitute because the squad was already down in numbers, in fact, I also stuck my name on the list.

“In the end, Marc came on and produced one superb save.

“Credit must go to the defence and team overall for protecting Marc and he will now have extra time to recover before we visit Armagh City on Wednesday.”

Annagh’s battle to protect second-tier status from a first Championship One season remains the priority.

“Although we had the lead then finished at 2-2, it was more a case of last weekend standing as one we could not afford to lose,” said Smith. “We must look on every single point as a bonus and one step closer to our aim of staying up.

“We want to take the positives into the midweek derby.”

Kick-off will be 7.45.