Belfast Ravens scored a last minute winner to edge their enthralling opening NIWFA League game against Carnmoney 5-4 at Ullidia Playing Fields.
They made an ideal start to the game, taking the lead with just 60 seconds on the clock. A long punt upfield from the goalkeeper fell to Caiti McCloskey, who forced a low save from Katie Bradley in the Carnmoney goal. She could only parry it into the path of Joanne Corr however, who pounced to tap home from close range.
The goal seemed to shock Carnmoney into life and they responded just two minutes later. Kassie Stewart released Molly Reid on the right and she delivered a cross which fell to Amy Greer at the back post, who dispatched it first time into the top corner.
Carnmoney went ahead for the first time in the game 20 minutes in, with their second goal a carbon copy of the first. Molly Reid beat her marker and put in a teasing delivery which again fell to Amy Greer. She made no mistake, rifling it into the roof of the net.
They extended their advantage a minute later, with a fine individual goal from striker Hannah Clarke. She drove forward at pace before poking it past the goalkeeper at her near post for Carnmoney’s third goal of the half.
Cammoney had the chance to be out of sight by half time when Amy Greer, who was on a
hat-trick, smacked her volley off the outside of the post.
They dominated proceedings in the early part of the second period, with Hannah Clarke bending an effort goal-wards which whistled just past the post and Anna Gibson also missed a huge chance, hitting a shot straight at Kulisz who had rushed out to narrow the angle.
Belfast Ravens pulled a goal back in the 55th minute when substitute Maddy Mandoj Norman fired an unstoppable effort past Bradley from outside the area.
Carnmoney regained their two goal cushion soon after when Anna Gibson coolly threaded
the ball through to Hannah Clarke to coolly dispatch her second beyond Kulisz
Ravens refused to give up and got another goal with 20 minutes remaining. A mistake from Carnmoney captain Lily Noble-Owen was punished by Caiti McCloskey, who smashed home to reduce the deficit.
Carnmoney then had a number of chances to kill the game off, but failed to take any of them. Clarke’s looping effort grazed the crossbar before Teona Bailie curled a shot into the arms of Kulisz.
There was plenty still to play for with 10 minutes remaining. Jess Wright dragged a shot past the post for Carnmoney, before the Ravens raced up the other end and won a penalty. Caiti McCloskey was clean through on goal and was about to pull the trigger before she was nudged off the ball by Abu Tate. The referee had no choice but to point to the spot and Lisa Black stepped up and side footed it into the bottom corner. Bradley guesses the right way, but was unable to get a hand to it.
Late, late drama was to follow when the Ravens won a corner in the dying seconds. Chelsea Smyth was on hand to prod the ball home after a defensive mix-up and pinball in the penalty box presented her an opportunity which she gladly accepted.
That proved to be the final kick of the game as the Ravens secured a memorable victory in a thrilling game to kickstart their season with a win.