Ten-man Slane hold on for the win.

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

THE first team welcomed Tandragee Rovers to Jubilee Park for an Intermediate A league match at the weekend and after a gutsy performance, the boys made sure the points stayed in Moneyslane.

Tandragee Rovers...0.

Manager Thornton had to reshuffle the team somewhat with a list of absentees through injury of suspension.

Ryan McIlroy came into left back where he had a solid game and Shilliday was moved to right back in a new look back four with Stuart Adams making his debut after a recent move from Ballymacash Rangers and James Kernaghan returning from injury.

The game was only minutes old when a great free-flowing move down the left flank saw McIlroy force a smart save at the near post from the Tandragee shot stopper.

The resulting Kernaghan corner saw skipper Ervine lose his marker and power a header in of the under side of the crossbar. 1-0

The visitors responded well and from a cross from the right saw Hainon and Black fight for the low cross to the front post with the ball coming off the foot of McClurg's post.

Moneyslane were looking dangerous from set plays and after a great break from midfield from Jonny Kernaghan, saw him beat three men before being upended by Gallagher who was cautioned for the offence.

The free kick was headed back out by Moan with Kernaghan picking up the scraps ten yards outside the area he smashed a volley which took a nick off a Tandragee defender and looked all the way in to the bottom corner only for the keeper to produce a fantastic save low to his right.

Tandragee were playing some good football but all in front of the Slane defence but with half an hour gone, Black almost drew the visitors level when he headed wide of the upright after a good cross from the left.

Moneyslane then suffered yet another injury as Shilliday had to be replaced by McLean with Hainon going out to fullback.

Moneyslane almost doubled their lead from another Kernaghan corner was met by Larmour whose powerful headed was tipped over the bar by the big keeper.

The game was end to end and with two minutes to go until half-time Tandragee were awarded a penalty after a rash tackle from McLean inside the area.

Tandragee skipper Bicker stepped up and struck a hard shot to McClurg's right but the impressive Moneyslane keeper guessed right and made a great save to ensure the hosts went in on top at the break.

Half time: Moneyslane 1-0 Tandragee Rovers

The match restarted with the visitors starting sharply with two dangerous crosses from the right with Black going close on one occasion.

Injury yet again hit Moneyslane with skipper Ervine having to be replaced ten minutes into the second half after putting in a good shift upfront leading the line with Adair coming on in his place.

The Moneyslane back line were defending well with a number of crosses being well dealt with and any second ball was being eaten up by the hard working midfield in front of them.

James Kernaghan was having a solid game in midfield alongside Adams who were putting in some shift and after the latter broke up play in midfield, he spotted the run of Adair who raced one-on-one with the keeper who was brave diving at the feet of the Slane striker.

At the other end Tandragee forced a corner kick from the right which saw the ball loop up over McClurg after a wicked deflection but the experience of McLean showed through as he covered back onto the line to hook clear and Moneyslane broke down the right and within ten seconds almost scored the second on the day.

Hainon powered a low shot which was well saved by the keeper with the rebound falling to Adair whose shot was unbelievably saved again with the big keeper stretching an arm out while on the deck to push to safety in what was an excellent piece of goalkeeping.

James Kernaghan was then replaced by Devlin who was returning from injury.

Tandragee were pushing men forward searching for the equaliser but again they got no change out of a disciplined well drilled Moneyslane rear guard.

The introduction of Corbett with fifteen minutes to go was always going to be difficult to handle with but it must be said Hainon gave the Tandragee a hell of a game with it turning into a real battle between the two players.

As the game came into the final ten minutes plus added time Devlin pulled up with another hamstring injury meaning Moneyslane had to finish the remainder of the game with ten men.

As expected the visitors were enjoying large spells of play with the ball as Slane sat in trying to shut up shop, there was a lot of crosses into the Slane box but time and time again the stubborn defence got to the ball first in what was an excellent defensive performance from the whole team.

The referee added five minutes injury time but the visitors couldn't find a way back into the game and the ten men Moneyslane held on for a great win after another great battle with Tandragee.

Dan said that the team had "come up against a strong Tandragee side with vast experience throughout their ranks we knew it was going to be another difficult game as we drew with them at the start of the season and it was also a real battle".

"I must applaud each and everyone of my players as they put everything into that performance today throwing their bodies on the line on a number of occasions. We defended very well as a team today and the players can be proud of their performances.

"We're going through a very difficult time at the minute with many injuries with another three today but we'll pull together and hope to get a few back this week for next weekend's trip to Camlough Rovers.

I'd like to wish Ian, Scott and all the Tandragee players all the best for the remainder of the season and in their cup final at Christmas," said Dan


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