Ards beef up attack ahead of Humbugs derby clash

CLEAN CATCH: Cornard Uniteds goalkeeper Daniel Joyce, in action during Saturdays 2-0 defeat to Stowmarket Town, was our Free Press Man of The Match
CLEAN CATCH: Cornard Uniteds goalkeeper Daniel Joyce, in action during Saturdays 2-0 defeat to Stowmarket Town, was our Free Press Man of The Match

THURLOW NUNN LEAGUE

FIRST DIVISION

Cornard United 0

Stowmarket Town 2

By Ken Watkins 
at Blackhouse Lane

New signing Mitch Yeo is set to make his debut for Cornard United in their derby match at Halstead Town on Saturday (3pm) as manager Chris Tracey bids to add some punch to his attack.

Much travelled Yeo, who had a brief spell at Long Melford, and has played at Wivenhoe Town, Stanway Rovers, Witham Town and Heybridge Swifts, was unavailable on Saturday for the visit of promotion-chasing Stowmarket.

Two second half-goals from former Hadleigh United player Duane Wright, who came off the bench, extended the visitors’ unbeaten league run to 11 games.

But Tracey praised the battling display from his young side, all but two aged 21 or under.

“I can’t really be disappointed,” he said. “We have played the teams second and third in the league two weeks on the trot.

“We’ve got no points out of it, but they’ve both had to come here and work extremely hard.

“Not many teams enjoy coming here now; Cornard United is no longer a gimme.

“The first half we were fortunate to go in 0-0. They’ve hit the bar, and young Daniel Joyce has made some outstanding saves, although we had a great chance at the end.

“We set out to stifle them, started getting under their skin a little bit, and in the second half there wasn’t a lot in it; we are improving.”

Stowmarket dominated the first half, with Joyce producing several excellent saves to keep them out. Remell Davis, Jonathan Carver and Danny Cunningham all had efforts denied by the athletic ‘keeper.

Phil Weavers saw a powerful strike come back off the angle in the 29th minute as Stowmarket kept the pressure on.

Yet Cornard might have gone in with an interval lead. A swift break in the last minute of the half ended with Jake Buckland heading their only real chance over the bar.

The second half was more even. Wright came on in the 61st minute, and two minutes later drove home a cross from Ben Licence to put the visitors ahead.

Another 20 minutes in he struck again when the ball fell perfectly to him after a scramble in the box, volleying home powerfully. His bid for a hat-trick was denied by Joyce in stoppage time.

Cornard’s only clear chance of the half came in the 85th minute, Ezra Drann heading inches wide.

It was certainly a combative game, with seven players booked – Buckland, Moses Carvalho and Ben Madden from the home side, and Wright, Davis, Mical Moore and Scott Marjoram from the visitors.

Cornard United: Joyce; Madden, Marshall, Edwards, Jewson, Buckland, Melarkey, Carvalho (Doherty 84), Brown (Drann 55), Constantinou (Robinson 59), Newton.

Free Press Man of The Match: Daniel Joyce. Excellent saves and commanding in his area. No chance with either goal. Attendance: 28