Sunday 22 April 2018

Toothless Skerries draw no comfort

SKERRIES Town hosted Ratoath on Sunday in this Leinster Senior League tie and entered the game in confident mood, but they were in for a rude awakening.

The visitors have been struggling so far this season and are positioned just above the relegation zone, but after a lacklustre display by Skerries over the 90 minutes they can consider themselves lucky to have got even the one point that they obtained at the final whistle.

Understandably, Ratoath were tentative in the opening stages and this was the only period in the game when Skerries looked dangerous. With Ben Hunter on the right wing and James McIlwaine on the left, the visitors were stretched, but the final ball could not be converted into scores.

The game then settled down into a dogged affair, with the more direct style of Ratoath proving as effective as the measured build-up that Skerries employed. While this ensured an abundance of possession for the home side, the visiting keeper was rarely troubled and did not have a save to make during the first 45 minutes.

Indeed, in a rare break by Ratoath when the advancing Shane Davis was chipped, the ball bounced back off the inside of the upright into his grateful arms to keep the scores level.

On the hour mark Michael Christian and Paul Cashman were introduced to try and inject more bite to the attack, but the resolute Ratoath defence held firm and dealt comfortably with anything Skerries threw at them.

As the game entered its final stages, it was the visitors who threatened, and with more assured finishing they could have taken all three points.

Overall, it was a very frustrating afternoon for Skerries and definitely a case of two points dropped rather than one point gained.

The hope is that with the return of some of their injured players in the coming weeks, performances will improve to enable them get into a position to challenge for promotion, but for now that seems like a long shot.

Fingal Independent