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First team stand strong

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

First team stand strong thumbnailMoneyslane's JK hitting the net

ON SATURDAY the first team traveled to Portadown to play St Mary's FC who groundshare with Annagh United.

St Mary's F ...1
Moneyslane FC ...2

The game was played on a artificial pitch which suited the home side but the opening exchanges went in favour of Moneyslane who tested the home keeper as early as the third minute when Ryan McIlroy played Kingsmore in one on one but the keeper made a great stop to keep the scores l eve l .

The hosts went very close at opening the scoring when they won a free kick on the right flank. A dangerous ball into the back post was met by McKee who powered a header wide of the far upright. This seemed to kick Slane into life and they opened the scoring in the tenth minute after great buildup play from Ervine, Weir and Abdelay saw the later release Reese who raced through on goal cutting across the last defender and firing high into the back of the net past the helpless St Mary's keeper 0-1.

The hosts went close again when their striker headed past the left upright after getting onto a cross from the left hand side. The game had a real end of season feel to it as both teams squandered possession cheaply in the wrong areas of the pitch Anthony Abdelay nicked the ball off the centre back before beating a defender as he drove into the box and cut back to Reese whose shot was saved at the near post by the hosts keeper.

With half an hour played St Mary's were handed a lifeline when a they were awarded a very soft penalty kick as Larmour shepherded the ball out of play the number seven ran into him and got the penalty decision from the referee much to the dismay of the Slane players and supporters.

Their striker stepped up and smashed the ball low to the right but Davy Crawford guessed right and made a great save with Robbie Weir reacting quickest to the second ball and putting it behind to safety.

The Slane keeper was having a fine game as he had another great stop to make minutes later at the feet of the home midfielder who broke in behind the Slane rearguard. St Mary's drew level with five minutes to go until half time a ball over the top saw their striker slip in behind Shilliday and slot under Crawford despite a great last ditch tackle from Weir 1- 1.

This was a blow to Slane who had defended well with everything the hosts threw at them but they did create one last chance before the interval as Kingsmore was found by a fantastic McIlroy pass but the pacy striker took a heavy touch as he broke the offside trap and the keeper was quick off his line to stop the threat .

Half time:
St Mary's FC 1-1 Moneyslane FC

The second half started with both teams covering a lot of ground looking to set the tone in the opening minutes it was fast paced action. Abdelay broke through in off the left wing but his shot was well blocked by a covering defender for a corner. The resulting corner kick was met by a Larmour header that was headed off the line by the St Mary's centre half.

Kingsmore and Reese were causing problems with their tireless running and the next half chance if it could be called a chance fell to Kingsmore when he tried an overhead kick after getting his body between the ball and last defender with the keeper off his line the striker hooked the ball over his head but the keeper got back to save on the goal line.

The hosts were showing why they have been hard to beat since Christmas with some fine defending and good buildup play on a slick surface they knocked the ball around well moving the resolute Moneyslane defence side to side without getting in behind the back four of Withers, Larmour, Shilliday and Weir. With just over an hour played Moneyslane made a double substitution as Abdelay and McIlroy made way for Stevie Adair and Kernaghan.

Kernaghan almost made an immediate impact as he released Reese in behind the left back it was a race to the ball between keeper and winger with Reese getting there first poking past the keeper only to be taken out on the edge of the box with the referee producing a yellow card for the outrages foul. Kernaghan whipped the free kick up over the wall but it was saved by the keeper who was lucky to still be on the pitch.

Moneyslane were pushing hard in the final ten minutes and it looked like they won it when Kernaghan played a great ball to Harron who drove past the last defender and instead of pulling the trigger himself he squared to Kingsmore who rolled the ball into the open net only for the goal to be ruled out for an offside call by the referee. Moneyslane manager Thornton then made the last throw of the dice with striker Montgomery making his comeback after missing the last 15 games or so with injury was brought on for Harron as Slane searched for the goal their performance deserved.

That all important third goal in the game came three minutes from time when Slane skipper Ervine spotted the run of Kernaghan with a defence splitting pass the midfielder raced through on goal and finished in style curling the ball into the left hand corner of the visitors net as he reeled away to celebrate the winning the game in dramatic fashion after coming on as a second half substitute.

St Mary's threw everything at the Slane defence in the final couple of minutes but the team stood strong and defended their area well to secure three vital points on a tricky away day.

 

Full time: St Mary's FC 1-2 Moneyslane FC

Manager Dan Thornton said: "We went to Portadown with a long list of first team squad members missing for various reasons we had to pull a good few from the Reserves and the boys who stepped in done very well with Robbie Weir having a fantastic game at full back.

"Big Davy made a great save from the spot and another couple in the first half were I think the home side just edged it but we got in at half time and changed a few things and had a much improved second half performance. It was great to see Montgomery making his comeback today after missing the majority of the season through injury we certainly missed his experience on the park.

"Today was a very tough test and the boys got the job done so that's all I can ask of them! It's been a great first season for ourselves and with one game remaining we will aim to finish on a high.

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