All's well that ends well as Mcphails suffer major blow
THE WELL 2 MCPHAILS 1
McPHAILS' 100% record in Group A of the Drogheda Summer League bit the dust in front of a big crowd at Parkview last Tuesday evening as The Well leapfrogged them into top spot.
A full-strength McPhails pushed for an early goal, with Barry Dyas and Guy Bates both denied by keeper Tommy Melia who then pulled off two more excellent stops from Martin Smith and Olan Flanagan.
The Well, whose confidence was high after defeating a fancied Top Shop the week before, had to make an early substitution when Paddy O'Boyle went off to hospital after sustaining a shoulder injury.
Chances were few and far between in the first half, the best falling to The Well when Brian Kermode played a onetwo with Ross Reid and went for goal, only to be denied by the out-stretched hand of keeper Alan Sweeney.
The second period saw a fierce midfield battle ensue, with Dean Carolan (The Well) and Austin McCann (McPhails) each pushing for supremacy.
Smith went down in the box for what McPhails felt was a penalty, but instead the striker was shown a yellow card for simulation and it was The Well who broke the deadlock with a stunning goal on 55 minutes.
Karl Brannigan gained possession and moved the ball infield to Kermode who flicked on towards Steven Campbell, and the striker slipped by his marker and took the ball on a few strides before unleashing a 35-yard thunderbolt that gave Sweeney no chance.
The Well were forced onto the defensive after that as Bates and Smith pushed for an equaliser, with Kevin Bull and Bob Daly working overtime at the back, but the Well defence could do nothing about a Flanagan strike that cannoned off the underside of the bar.
Bates was denied by Melia's outstretched foot, and McPhails eventually drew level on 70 minutes, Smith heading home after a wicked free kick from the right taken by Darren McCann.
The Well regrouped, however, and grabbed what proved to be the winner, Karl Dowling scrambling the ball home after Sweeney had collided with his own defender, Alan O'Connor. THE WELL: Tommy Melia, Andy Mooney, Paddy O'Boyle (Ross Reid), Bob Daly, John Carroll, Brian Kermode, Dean Carolan, Kevin Bull, Karl Brannigan, Steven Campbell, Karl Dowling. McPHAILS: Alan Sweeney, Gaz Smith, Robbie Craig, Alan O'Connor, Darren McCann, Ciaran Hartnett, Austin McCann, Olan Flanagan, Barry Dyas, Guy Bates, Martin Smith.