Teamwork to provide defensive answer

Scott Rae celebrates scoring three goals on his senior debut for Portadown against Markethill Swifts. The midfielder has now signed for Annagh United.
Scott Rae celebrates scoring three goals on his senior debut for Portadown against Markethill Swifts. The midfielder has now signed for Annagh United.
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Annagh United’s Irish Cup exit on Saturday may have exposed the side’s defensive frailties but manager Dean Smith is more concerned with the potential impact on league progress.

United lost out to Ballyclare Comrades by 3-1 at Tandragee Road for what proved the final knockout test Annagh will face this season.

The NIFL Championship Two side sit second in the standings but have secured just a single clean sheet in 12 league appearances.

“We gave away two poor goals in a short spell against Ballyclare,” said Smith. “Shea Campbell scored in the second half and it could have been 2-2 off a Richard Allen volley before Ballyclare added a late third.

“We under-performed and that has been the case over the past few weeks maybe, especially in terms of giving away goals.

“We have players on the books capable of keeping clean sheets and it is something we will work on as a team.

“It is never about individuals or even a defence or attack alone, we do everything as a team.

“Our gameplan is built around making the pitch big in attack but then closing down without the ball and you cannot be successful with one area but not the other.

“Now the full focus is going to be on our league form, but with a free date this weekend.”

ANNAGH UNITED: Ciaran Fox, Jordan Bell, Nathan Riddle, Jordan Campbell, Richard Allen, Philip Craig, Jaime Gardiner, Raymond Harpur, Shea Campbell, Scott McCordick, Paul Stretton. Subs: Jamie Smith, Scott Rae, Matthew Brown, Adam Nesbitt, Francis McCann.