In fairness to this young Ardmore Reserves side the 3-0 score-line doesn’t really tell the full story.
Yes, the visitors were the stronger team in the second half and deserved the points, but Joe Cregan’s men missed clear cut chances at 0-0, but in the end fitness told.
The home side started well with left-back Ciaran Melaugh causing problems for the Limavady men, but on four minutes his tremendous low centre, which flashed across the Rovers’ six yard box, deserved better.
More good play by Melaugh ended with his cross finding Eddie Bell, but the striker’s shot was saved by Rovers goalkeeper Cian Breslin.
Ardmore continued to push forward for the opening goal and they were inches away from taking the lead on 25 minutes but Shea O’Kane’s shot from the edge of the box, which had Breslin beaten, flashed just wide, after the winger’s quick feet created the chance.
On 41 minutes Thomas Hassan’s free-kick found Conor Mullan, but the midfielder’s header was saved by Ardmore net-minder Kevlin McGowan.
Moments later Loughlain Toland’s cross from the right caught out McGowan, but fortunately for the keeper Brendan McGonigle failed to hit the target and headed wide from close range.
McGonigle had another great chance right on the stroke of half-time but the veteran’s close range strike was straight at McGowan.
Early in the second half Ardmore went close to taking the lead but Barry Gormley saw his 25 yard drive superbly kept out by a diving Breslin.
Melaugh’s in swinging right wing corner caught out Breslin and fortunately for the keeper the curling ball clipped the top of the bar.
Just before the hour mark Bell’s run and cross from the right found an unmarked Chris Gormley, but the midfielder incredibly headed over when it looked easier to score.
After that Gormley miss the Roesiders fitness and game experience ensured they finished the game the stronger and they went close on 63 minutes.
Mullan broke in behind the Ardmore defence, but with only McGowan to beat, he rushed his shot from 16 yards and fired wide.
The deadlock was broken on 75 minutes when once again Mullan got in behind the Ardmore back-line and although his effort was saved well by McGowan, Finbar O’Brien was on hand to turn the loose ball home
from close range.
On 82 minutes a fantastic passing move by the visitor’s which saw Toland feed the ball to Mullan and his super curling pass in behind substitute Caolán Hargan found Ciaran Deery, who nipped in to round McGowan and turned the ball home into the empty net.
In the closing stages Rovers added a third in spectacular fashion when man of the match Mullan capped a fine display by firing home from 20 yards giving McGowan no chance.
Ardmore Res: Kevlin McGowan, Gerry King, Ian Doherty, Kyle Gallagher, Ciaran Melaugh; Jack McAllister, Ryan Quinn, Chris Gormley, Barry Gormley, Shea O’Kane; Eddie Bell. Subs: James Cruickshank, Neil Harley, Caolán Hargan.
Roe Rovers: Cain Breslin; Finbar O’Brien, Thomas Hassan, Jack McGonigle; Christopher Doyle, Matthew Hamilton, Brendan McGonigle, Conor Mullan, Paddy Logue, Loughlain Toland, Darrel Mulgrew. Subs: Gary Faulkner, Ciaran Deery.
Referee: Dermot Liddy.