Crewe United came out victors in the local derby game with rivals Lower Maze as Crewe Goalkeeper Colm McAuley scores from a kick out to maintain the Glenavy mens’ great record in recent meetings between the sides.
Crewe United 1 Lower Maze 0
Blood and thunder was predicted and thats exactly what transpired as the ‘Big Two’ of Lisburn’s Intermediate football scene clashed at Crewe Park.
The game opened with Crewe looking the more threatening, but no one would have guessed the source of the opening goal. After only 5 minutes Crewe Keeper Colm McAuley lifted the ball, and with the wind at his back saw the Lower Maze keeper of his line and launched the ball goalwards. As the ball travelled 90 yards down the pitch it eventually nestled in the top corner of the Maze goal.
McAuley, who has had a great season to date stood in shock but then proceeded to ‘do a Klinsman’ in front of the home supporters as the Crewe Ultras went wild with their celebrations. Crewe kept the pressure on Lower Maze and frenchman Loic Bouchard saw his goal bound shot deflected wide and then minutes later Chinta Chisambo could not guide Bouchards cross into the net when well placed.
The Maze found it difficult to cope with the wind and Crewe’s rearguard of Creggan, McStravick, Haggerty and Bingham looked in full control as the half progressed. Mulligan and Black were creating openings down the flanks as McManus pulled the strings in midfield.
However Crewe must have been worried when then could not convert their pressure into goals as they knew the wind advantage was certainly a factor in the first half.
Half time: Crewe United 1 Lower Maze 0
Lower Maze came out in the second half looking purposeful. However despite having much of the ball they failed to create any chances to worry McAuley in the Crewe goals. After 65 mins McManus and Mulligan made way for Pete McCabe and Marty McCartney. The pair dug in and battled hard as Crewe once again took control.
Bouchard could have scored after beating the defender but his shot from a narrow angle went just wide. Kempson also was unfortunate as he skinned Maze centre half Glenn Walker and was through on goal but Walker hauled him down and was lucky to stay on the pitch.
Things began to boil over as Crewe substitute Morgan Denny was sent off along with his Maze counterpart as the pair lifted hands to eachother. Lower Maze assistant manager Tom Neill was also dismissed from the touchline after an altercation with the referee. Crewe got a scare with ten minutes to go as the ball ended up in their net but was rightfully called offside.
Crewe had a couple of chances to seal the points towards the end of the game but came away with all three points without having to add to McAuleys goal. Overall it was a great hard working performance from Crewe which keeps them in touch with the leading pack in the league and McAuley deserves credit for his goal and also adds to his good displays against Lower Maze having saved a penalty in the last minute in the game earlier in the season.
Full time: Crewe United 1 Lower Maze 0
Team: McAuley, Bingham (c), Haggerty, Creggan, McStravick, Mulligan, Black, Bouchard, McManus, Kempson, Chisambo. Subs: McCartney and McCabe (for Mulligan and McManus 65), Denny (for Chismabo 75 and dismissed 80)