Narrow win moves Colts into last eight
The seniors made it five wins out of six in all competitions to move into the quarter finals of the prestigious Bobby Dalzell Cup.
It was a competent performance and the win was secured when Adam Shilliday was brought down in the penalty box and got up himself to fire an impressive spot kick into the corner with 15 minutes remaining.
It was thoroughly deserved with goalkeeper Chris Overend rarely called into action though he made a couple of vital saves in a season in which he has found a high level of consistency.
Paul Maguire was drafted into the backline late on Friday due to injury to Stevie Doherty and even though he has been out for over a month and only trained once he was a contender for man of the match alongside the dynamic Paul Murphy, who had an outstanding game at left back.
Colts should have taken the lead 20 minutes in when Fergus McBride found Jordan Toal at the corner of the penalty box but the big striker fired wide.
Then top scorer James Erne was unable to add to his total when he broke through the middle but both his attempts were blocked by some desperate defending.
Shilliday was causing serious problems down the left for the home team but despite a series of dangerous crosses no-one was able to get on the end to open the scoring.
Strangford got a foothold in the game briefly in the middle of the half but Rory McDonnell marshalled the defence superbly and after a difficult opening period Joe Sweeney got to grips with
their dangerous left winger and their threat petered out.
The second half continued with Colts on top and Chris Curran entered the fray and immediately added a different dimension to Carryduff’s play.
And Paddy McEvoy came close within seconds of coming on when he got on the end of an excellent Shilliday free kick but just headed over the bar. He then got on the end of a Michael
Deeny cross but again his headed effort was off target.
Just when thoughts of extra time and penalties started to loom due to inability to take chances, speed merchant Shilliday was released down the left and drove into the penalty area and was
brought down before making no mistake from the spot to score for the third game in a row.
Paul McWilliams, who once again had an impressive display on his last appearance before moving to Canada, picked up an injury and was replaced by Ryan McGarry whose tough tackling and workrate further upset the home team’s composure.
It was a game the Colts might have lost last season but there is an increasing resilience and confidence around this young team now – though they face a really tough test next week in the second round of the Northern Ireland Junior Shield against highly fancied Lower Shankill.
Colts: Overend, Sweeney, Murphy, McDonnell, Maguire, McBride, McWilliams (McGarry), Deeny, Toal (Curran), Erne (McEvoy), Shilliday