Cambuslang Rangers 1-2 Benburb
Abercorn Builders Premier division
Saturday 9th March
At Somervell Park
Cambuslang Rangers lead at the top of the Premier League was cut to 1 point when Benburb triumphed at Somervell last weekend. A narrow 2-1 victory was enough to earn the visitors a vital 3 points in the race for a top 6 finish.
Cambuslang manager Andy Cunningham had to shuffle his pack due to injury and his depleted squad was down to the bare bones. Out went Devanney (ankle), McGregor (rib) and Balmain was still missing with a foot injury. Taylor, Maxwell and Paterson replaced these players.
Both teams had fought out a 0-0 draw earlier in the season with Cambuslang disappointed not to win that day. It was also important that Cambuslang didn't lose this one to keep up there challenge for a top 6 finish.
Both team started cautiously on the very heavy surface that was far from ideal for playing flowing football on. The visitors were the first to have a shot at goal when Brown ran about 20 yards and fired in a shot but Wardlaw was equal to it and saved the effort. Only a minute later and Bens almost took the lead. A mistake in midfield by Richardson who gave away possession cheaply allowing Jamieson space for a shot that was heading into top corner but Lang keeper Wardlaw threw himself at the ball and managed to fingertip the ball onto the bar. It was a stunning stop from the in form keeper. Cambuslang responded immediately and Holmes found the side net with his effort. The home side opened the scoring on 18 minutes, Gauley's pass found Daisley who turned and fired in a superb shot past the despairing dive of Banks in the Benburb goal. Benburb had a couple of chances to draw level near the end of the half. O'Hara fired just over the bar from 15 yards and then he shot inches wide a minute later. The half ended with Benburb having both McInally and O'Hara picking up bookings for fouls on Robertson and Richardson respectively.
Benburb made a change at the start of the second half bringing on Elrick. With the first attack of the second half again the visitors almost equalised but another fine stop by Lang keeper Wardlaw kept the ball out. From the resulting corner Cambuslang's Doak had to be on his toes to clear O'Hara's effort off the line. Lang's Robertson then tangled with Ben's Fontana and both players received a yellow card. The visitorís pressure eventually paid off on 55 minutes. Sharkey scrambled the ball over the line after an almighty scramble in the box. There was also a hint of hand ball which enraged the Lang players who then had Taylor booked for over protesting the point to the referee. The scorer Sharkey was seen to gesture to the home support and this was spotted by the eh linesman who brought it to the referee's attention who then booked the Bens defender. Cambuslang almost regained the lead through Daisley but his effort was well saved by the keeper. Only a minute later they almost scored again. Holmes cross was only inches away from being converted by Daisley but he couldn't get the touch needed. The visitors grabbed the lead on 70 minutes when a looping header from Jamieson ended up in the net. Cambuslang couldn't find away back into the game and the visitors held on for a vital 3 points.
Wardlaw, Doak, Taylor (Earlie 78), Kavanagh, Robertson, Richardson, Paterson (Gilhaney 75), Gauley, Daisley, Holmes and Maxwell
Subs not used Coulter, Dunn and Watson
Banks, Millar, Sharkey, Graham, Gaffney, O'Hara, Jamieson, Fontana, Brown, McInally & Tinney
Subs from Sloan, Campbell, Davis, Elrick & McMillan