Match Report: Leeds United 1 v 3 Co Antrim

Jul 25, 2022 | Junior Section

County Antrim overcome a spirited Leeds United side in the Junior section at a sunny Riada Stadium to get their STATSports SuperCupNI campaign off to the best possible start.


Leeds dominated the early stages but couldn’t turn their pressure into goals. Their talented number 10 was first to go close and his free kick had the Antrim keeper all at sea but it hammered off the bar and went over for a goal kick.


Antrim were slowly getting to grips with the conditions and size of the pitch and number 11 Cole Brannigan was making good progress down the right.


From one of his in-swinging corners Logan Graham fired a shot over the bar when well placed.


Leeds responded to Antrim’s forays into their half with a strong run from their left back but his snapshot was deflected into the side netting after a surging run forward.


Just before the interval Antrim took the lead when an in-swinging delivery from Brannigan was caught in the wind and the Leeds ‘keeper dropped it over his own line.


Antrim’s tails were up and they bossed the early stages of the second half and a swift counter saw Brannigan drive forward and release Bernard Nsiah on the right, his clever pass saw McClure through, but his effort was parried over the bar.


The local side soon doubled their lead after another Leeds United error. A quick throw in saw the ball nipped off the toes of their centre half and in his attempts to regain possession he fouled Nsiah. McClure stepped up and expertly fired into the bottom left hand corner.


The Elland Road youngsters knew time was running out and with just 15 minutes left they grabbed themselves a lifeline, as a driving run forward from their centre half saw a ball slipped into the path of their number 4, who stretched and poked the ball under the ‘keeper.


Leeds threw the kitchen sink at Antrim but as they pushed men forward Antrim were finding spaces to counter. Jack Hastings pounced on a ball over the top but his effort was well saved.


Antrim pushed forward once again and after a great save from the ‘keeper and clearance off the line from the follow up the Leeds defender pounced on the bouncing ball, only to control the ball with his arm. The referee blew the whistle with no hesitation and McClure stepped up once again and fired his spot kick into the same corner to take all three points for Antrim in their opening game.


Sam Gamble