Harmony Row U21's overcame stubborn opposition to progress through to the SYFA Challenge Cup Final after a 2-1 win over Antonine at the home of junior side St.Anthony. Antonine opened the scoring early in the match but two goals either side of the half gave Harmony Row the win.
It took Antonine all of six minutes to open the scoring. A long, High free kick into the box was met by the head of Gavin Miller who raised highest over Harmony Row ‘keeper Callum Easton. As the ball trickled goal wards the defence desperately tried to stop the ball crossing the line but their efforts were in vain as the ball nestled into the corner of the net and the referee awarded the goal.
The early stages were somewhat of a midfield battle with neither team shrieking from a tackle. Harmony Row were trying to play their football on the wings and tricky winner Ross McEntee set up a couple of chances for striker Steve Young but the Antonine defence weren’t giving Young an easy day of it and most of his efforts were easily cleared.
With the wind to their backs in the first half, Antonine were trying to capitalise on the long ball and use the considerable height advantage they had over their opposition.
As the half progress, Harmony Row began to take a foothold in the game as they came forward looking for an equaliser. A low hard free kick from the edge of the box by Steven Greer was held by Sean Gibbons in the Antonine goal.
With his work from the wing as of yet failing to produce a goal, Ross McEntee decided to take matters into his own hands. Cutting in from the wing, he beat three Antonine defenders before unleashing an unstoppable shot from the edge of the box into the top right hand corner of the goal. An incredible equaliser.
Harmony Row taseted blood are were going for the goal that would give them the lead before half time. Mark Burbidge cut in from the right wing and lay the ball off for Scott Jackson. With the goal gaping Jackson sent his shot soaring over the bar, a golden chance missed for Harmony Row.
Burbidge was causing trouble again this time setting up Kieran Blackwood but he couldn’t get his shot away cleanly and Antonine saw out the danger again. Harmony Row came close to snatching the lead just before half time, Scott Jackson played through Luke Whelan who saw his shot deflect off Calum Bryan and creeped agonisingly by the post.