A visit to Clough on Saturday morning represented a tough league opener for a Carniny side setting out to win back the BSML Division One title. Missing from their squad was BSML Player of the Year Mo McDowell who was attending a wedding while a foot injury ruled Ryan Bamber out of the action.
Injury problems would mount up over the course of the game for Carniny but they managed to make most of the early running with Richard Reid, having made a welcome return to the club, causing all sorts of problems for Clough centre back Alan Norton. Reid it was who opened the scoring after ten minutes, his low shot from the left finding the net having been found by Jordan Kenny's accurate cross.
Gareth Mott had to leave the field soon after having aggravated a groin injury to be replaced by Chris Clail.
Carniny continued to pressurise the Clough back line and doubled their lead on eighteen minutes when full back Allen Wright hit a shot from distance which took Simpson in the Clough goal by surprise and finished in the top right corner of the net. Reid was combining well up top with new signing Johnny Spence who was displaying great pace on the right while Jordan Kenny's constant probings from midfield had Carniny well on top.
Indeed the third goal came in the thirty fifth minute when Reid crossed from the right and Clail scored with a sharp first time finish at the near post. More injury trouble came befor the break though for Carniny as Derek Reid, one of last season's most consistent performers, had to leave the field injured to be replaced by Mark Waddell with Alan Cochrane moving from midfield to defence for Carniny.
Clough came out for the second half with renewed vigour to their play, resulting in early second half pressure which led to some slackness in the Carniny defence allowing Johnny McCloy to step forward and score a thirty yard pile driver.
Richard Gregg and Kyle McRoberts in the home side's engine room upped the tempo of their play giving Carniny a lot more to think about in the second period. The away side were still finding openings though and could have extended their lead but Clail and Frazer Young were wasteful in front of goal. Carniny suffered further from injury before the close with Allen Wright unable to carry on due to a hamstring problem leaving his side to complete the game with ten players. Another Clough goal at this point would have really lit the game up but Carniny with Kenny having a fine day in midfield saw out the game to claim their first three points of the season.
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