DCSIMG

MILK CUP: Co Antrim 0 Chertanovo 1

Espanyol's Bermejo Escribano   and Cherry Orchard's Darragh Markey  during this evening's  game at the Ballymena Showground. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press

Espanyol's Bermejo Escribano and Cherry Orchard's Darragh Markey during this evening's game at the Ballymena Showground. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press

  • by John Owen
 

Russian side Chertanovo Academy took the points after striker Alekseev Andrei had a game to remember, dispatching a penalty before seeing red late on.

The game was a close affair, but the Russians probably deserved to take all three points as they demonstrated a superior cutting-edge.

These two teams went into the game having fortuned very differently on the opening day of the tournament. Chertanovo suffered a 3-1 loss to Vendee, while Co. Antrim ran out 3-2 winners against fellow County side, Down.

The match started at a frenetic pace, the first ten minutes saw no goal-mouth action but plenty of full-force tackles from both sides.

The two teams spent most of the first-half attempting to get to grips with a strong wind that heavily influenced the game.

Co. Antrim’s Owen McKeown forced the first on target effort of the game. Good work down the left-handed side by Ross Holden created the chance, his lofted cross found McKeown who rose well and forced Roman into a smart save.

Chertanova’s best chance came fifteen minites into the game. A marauding run from from right-back Arslanov Amirkhan saw him jink past three players before he sent a curling effort just wide of the Antrim goal.

The half fizzled out as the rain began to fall slowly. The teams came out showing more intent after the interval.

Co. Antrim started the brighter. A Marc Sykes free-kick forced Chertanovo keeper Perevozkin Roman into a good save as he tippied the shot over the cross-bar.

Harry Griffin also went close for the local side, heading over from one of his side’s many corners in the game.

It took fifteen minutes for the Russian side to create their first chance of the second-half. Striker Krivopalov Viacheslav latched onto a long ball from the ball and broke through on goal, he dragged his shot just wide.

Chertanovo took the lead around twenty-five minutes into the second period. Antrim’s Jordan Malone was adjudged to have handled in the box and Alekseev Andrei duly dispatched the spot-kick imto the bottom right-hand corner of the goal.

Neither side created much in the closing stages but late tackles and ‘handbags’ were frequent.

The goal-scorer Andrei made sure he definitely stole the show as he was shown a straight red for throwing his head towards an Antrim player following a coming together off the ball.

The Russian side held strong for the remainder of the game despite their man disadvantage, claiming their first win of the tournament.

 

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