Ardee keep cup dreams alive as Kevin's see red
Leinster Junior Cup - Ardee Celtic 1 St Kevin's Boys 0
James McMullen's strike proved decisive in Friday evening's Leinster Junior Cup tie as Ardee Celtic saw off St Kevin's Boys in an incident-packed clash under the new lights at Townparks.
The Deesiders' Ross Gaynor had the first chance, with his shot saved well, while brother Darryn's outstretched foot couldn't reach a cross into the box while St Kevin's had a half chance when they sent a free kick wide of Declan Butler's goal.
Most of the opportunities were falling to Ardee at this stage and McMullen had an effort hacked away by the St Kevin's defence, while Gareth Kane's driving run was followed by a powerful shot that was tipped over the crossbar.
A late and dangerous tackle on Lorcan Myles right under the nose of referee Conor Byrne resulted in a straight red card for the culprit, although St Kevin's felt a McMullen challenge was equally worthy of a sending-off and the Ardee man only received a yellow.
A cross from Myles looked to be sailing into the net, only for the St Kevin's keeper to push the ball onto the post. However, the rebound fell to McMullen and he fired home to break the deadlock.
St Kevin's other chance in the first half fell to their striker who was denied by the fingertips of Butler.
The game opened up more in the second period and the NEFL side hit the upright and McMullen's follow-up was blocked before eventually going out of play.
On the hour mark Ardee were denied a penalty when McMullen's effort was blocked on the line by a St Kevin's defender who appeared to use his hand, but referee Byrne waved away the appeals.
Still, the Deesiders hung onto their slender advantage fairly comfortably, with Butler having little to do the the second half apart from making a couple of routine saves.
ARDEE CELTIC: Declan Butler, Robbie Reynolds (Oisin McGee), John Flanagan, Kenneth Thornton, Ciaran Clarke (Aaron Roche), Mikey Nulty, Lorcan Myles (Paul Matondo), Ross Gaynor, Gareth Kane, James McMullen (Eddie Burke), Darryn Gaynor (Wayne Reilly).
In the A Reserve division Ardee Celtic overcame Albion Rovers 4-1 at Townparks, with Shawni Dowdall (2), Ben McKenna and Bryan O'Connor on target.