Monday 16 September 2019

Super-sub Robinson seals deal

Soccer (premier division) - north east football league: Muirhevnamor 3, Parkvilla 2

Locked on the same points at kick-off with Parkvilla behind the two main title contenders, Muirhevnamor emerged with the points to consolidate third place in the NEFL Premier Division last Friay night.

The victory extended their winning run to seven games, if the abandoned Kilmessan Shield quarter-final tie with Trim is counted.

They were very much strapped for players for this clash at home, with Jimmy Cooney having to deputise in goal and like Paudie Hearty carrying an injury. The latter once again proved his value as a focal point in attack with his clever hold-up play.

The game also witnessed the continuing development of young Ciaran Jameson, who lined out at right-back and defended with great tenacity, and his precious piece of covering ultimately was the difference in the Challenge Cup holders not having to settle for a draw.

His speed and timely tackle nicked the ball away from a Parkvilla player as he broke clear into the box just on the stroke of half-time and looked set to score. This was just after Brendan Hughes had rifled the home side into the lead, gaining a deserved reward after twice going ever so close to opening the scoring.

Hughes headed against the Parkvilla crossbar and then swooped to head a cross into the side netting at the back post, but he made no mistake when a powerful drive from outside the box by Thomas McShane was deflected wide, and from the corner kick Parkvilla afforded Hughes space in front of goal to ram home when Adrian Rafferty flicked on Vinny Smith's dead ball.

Parkvilla started to ask serious questions of the home defence after the break, and stretched it to breaking point on a couple of occasions, striking the woodwork in the process.

It was no surprise, therefore, that they drew level on 67 minutes when, for the only time, young Jameson was caught out of position and a speedy Parkvilla attacker sped clear on the left and finished with pinpoint accuracy low into the far corner, giving Cooney no chance.

However, as often is the case, a side is most vulnerable straight after they score, and within two minutes Muirhevnamor regained the lead.

Rafferty, playing his first game of the season, once again played a vital part as he swept a long, diagonal pass out to the left wing. Martin Smith, making his return to the side, collected it in his stride, weaved past a defender in the box and drove the ball low into the near post where a defender turned it into his own net.

Gary Clarke stooped inside the middle of the box to send a glancing header against the Parkvilla post, but the visitors' fate was virtually sealed when substitute Wayne Robinson displayed wonderful trickery on the left touchline not far out from the 18-yard line to elude three opponents to make space and curl the ball high towards the far post.

The fully stretched goalkeeper managed to get his finger-tips to the ball but couldn't prevent it entering the net for a really magnificent goal.

Fellow substitute Declan Grimes struck the Parkvilla post shortly after, only for Parkvilla to have the final say just before the final whistle, grabbing their second goal with a shot bent past Cooney from the edge of the 18-yard box. But that came too late to alter the outcome.

Muirhevnamor: Jimmy Cooney, Ciaran Jameson, Adrian Rafferty, Mickey O'Kane, Brian Begley, Brendan Hughes, Thomas McShane (Sean Conlon 77), Gary Clarke, Vinny Smith (Cody McAreavey 81), Martin Smith (Declan Grimes 77), Paudie Hearty (Wayne Robinson 68).

The Argus