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Drohan shows way home for New Ross

LEAGUE LEADERS New Ross Celtic took another vital step towards retaining their league title with a cvommanding performance as they saw off a spirited Forth Celtic in this Wexford Premier Division clash at Murrintown yesterday morning .

New Ross Celtic totally dominated the opening twenty minutes of the game and but for the heroics of home keeper Alan Doyle, who did superbly well to keep out shots from Michael Grangell, Mark Lee and Paul Phelan, at a time when his side were been completely over-run.

It came as no real surprise when the title holders eventually succeeded in breaking the deadlock after twenty-five minutes Paul Phelan who was causing considerable problems for the homeside, made considerably ground down the left wing, got in a hard low cross which was steered over the line by the outstretched leg of centre-forward Grangell.

At a time when it looked as if New Ross Celtic would go on a goal scoring spree, they were rocked right back on their heels, ten minutes before the break. Having only partially cleared a ball, the clearance fell to Stephen Daly who drilled a superb thirty metre shot into the top right hand corner of the net past a startled Adrian Duggan in the visitors goal.

Minutes later they had a goal disallowed when Referee Damian Donovan penalised Anthony Hayes for a challenge on the keeper leaving the sides go in level at the break.

But on the resumption as the second half progressed, Forth Celtic looked uncertain at the back, soon getting in a muddle when faced with some excellent crosses from wingers Philip Drohan and Paul Phelan.

The pressure was eventually to tell as gaping holes began to appear in the homesides back four. Eventually New Ross Celtic capitalised on their possession, regaining the lead in the sixtieth minute when Mark Lee having created space crashed a low shot to the bottom right hand corner of the net.

Forth Celtic were unable to recover from this setback. Over-run in midfield they were unable to create anything worthwhile up front, leaving the result never in doubt once New Ross Celtic had regained the lead.

With Damian Cullen and Mark Lee now controlling midfield, and with Philip Drohan and Paul Phelan giving them real width, they succeed in adding a third ten minutes from the end. Drohan once again tore down the left, cut inside the defender, to crash a great shot from some thirty metres across the keeper into the opposite corner of the net, for a goal that was really fitting to clinch all three points.

Such was the eventual winners dominance that it took some heroic defending from Darren Jordan and excellent handling from keeper Doyle to deny the visitors from adding to their tally. While there was despair for Forth Celtic there was no denying the dominance of New Ross Celtic who look well on course to retaining their title.

Forth Celtic: Alan Doyle, Tony Power, Mark Doyle, Darren Jordan, Barry Doyle, David Hayes, Gail Jordan, Michael Farrell, Anthony Hayes, Stephen Daly. Subs: Niall Dempsey, Rory O'Connor, Michael O'Brien, Phelim O'connor, Chris Casey.

New Ross Celtic: Adrian Duggan, Paddy Kinsella, Gary Conway, Johnny Mullett, Sean Culleton, Mark Lee, Anthony O'Connor, Michael Grangell, Philip Drohan, Paul Phelan. Subs: Danny Conway, Matt O'Neill, Stephen O'Leary, Brian Mullett, Ricky Cashin.

Referee: Damian Donovan.