Second half performance saves Firsts from defeat.

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Second half performance saves Firsts from defeat. thumbnail Johnny Kernaghan came off the bench during the second half of the game. He has been out injured for the past six weeks.

ON Saturday (14 October) the first team travelled to Richhill in the league and came home with all three points, thanks to a spirited second half performance.


The boys got off to the worst possible start when the referee awarded the hosts a very soft penalty kick inside the opening minute, when he judged that the ball had struck the arm of Hainon. The Richhill winger powered the spot kick to the right where McClurg almost got to it, 1-0.

Moneyslane responded well and probably should have drew level in the fifth minute when Ferguson fired over from inside the area with the net gaping. The miss was to be costly as almost immediately Richhill doubled their lead when their striker raced free after sloppy defending saw him slot low under McClurg to make it 2-0.

Moneyslane were on the back foot and two down inside the first 10 minutes but grew as the half went on.

They forced a series of corners and could and probably should have got at the very least a goal back, with there being two cleared off the line and one off the crossbar from a Larmour header, which was well headed onto the bar by Harper. Unfortunately the ball wouldn't find the back of the net as Richhill defended well from some great corner routines.

With almost half an hour played in the first half, Hainon got down the right flank and slipped McBurney in one-on-one with the 'keeper who saved bravely at the feet of the striker. The rebound followed up by Pierce, whose goal-bound shot was again cleared off the line by a fantastic last-ditch clearance.

Moneyslane got a chance to get back into the game when McBurney was manhandled in the box, with the referee quick to award the second spot kick of the day.

The match was to throw up another twist when Ringland pulled his shot wide from 12 yards out as it looked like being one of those days in front of goal for the Jubilee Park men.

Richhill were dangerous going forward with the movement of Greenaway causing some problems and it was that player who forced a great save from McClurg from a tight angle to force a corner.

The resulting corner was played deep to the back post where it was met by a towering header and somehow the Moneyslane number one produced what can be described as a world class save as he got across his line and flicked the ball out of the top corner over the bar with the Richhill men wondering how it stayed out.

This save was crucial as within minutes Moneyslane got back into the contest. A great move down the right hand side saw Ringland whip in a great ball in between the defenders and goalkeeper, with neither able to make contact.

Pierce was on hand to fire home from six years out to open his Moneyslane account at a crucial time.

Half time: Richhill 2-1 Moneyslane.


The goal just before half time seemed to get the boys' tails up and they started the second half on the front foot.

Larmour had a header cleared after being found by Beckett and another goalmouth scramble was cleared to safety by the centre half.

Ten minutes into the half Moneyslane had 'keeper McClurg to thank as yet again the young fella showed why he is well thought of around the club, when he produced another brilliant oneon- one save on the edge of his area after the Richhill striker peeled off the last Moneyslane defender.

On the hour mark and a lot sooner than expected Moneyslane manager Thornton brought on Kernaghan as the attacker returned to the fold after missing the last six weeks through injury, with Harron making way.

The game was turning into a real battle and the referee was on top of things making sure they didn't boil over. Moneyslane got the equaliser with 20 minutes to go when some solid defending by Larmour saw Devlin break out of left back and picked out the run of Pierce, who smashed an unstoppable effort into the top corner from the edge of the Richhill box to double his tally on the day, 2-2.

Richhill, who battled hard all day, were reduced to 10 men with 12 minutes remaining when Finley overstepped the mark when talking to the referee.

With the extra man advantage, Moneyslane went for all three points with holding midfielder Ringland making way for striker Steve Adair.

The substitute made an immediate impact when he got in behind the left back with a clever run, his cutback to Kernaghan saw the wee man cut inside and whip an unstoppable effort in off the far right hand post.

It was a goal worthy of winning any football match and the entire team celebrated as they completed a great comeback when they looked down and out after 10 minutes played, 2-3.

Moneyslane then set about shutting up shop with McVitty coming into right back with Pierce making way after another fine display following his recent transfer from Banbridge Town.

The boys had to defend well in the closing stages but stood up to everything the hosts threw at them.

Full time: Richhill 2-3 Moneyslane.



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