NW FOOTBALL: Injury hit Roe Rovers make it six victories in a row

Roe Rovers' Brendan McGonigle chases out after the ball during their win at Eglinton.
Roe Rovers' Brendan McGonigle chases out after the ball during their win at Eglinton.

Roe Rovers made it six league wins on the bounce when they defeated Eglinton 4-3 on Saturday.

Rovers rocked during the week with injuries to Ciaran Deery, Ciaran Carmichael and Chris Harbinson suffered the blow of losing Loughlain Toland as well to illness on the morning of the match.

What a crazy game this was with Rovers leading after 16 minutes; being two goals ahead twice; scoring six although two in wrong net; giving away a crazy penalty and dominating the game but praying for the final whistle to blow at the end.

Rovers got the first decent chance when Chris McInnes played a great ball through to Brendan McGonigle on the edge of the box and he fired over.

The visitors took the lead in the 16th minute when Finbar O’Brien went on a great foray forward from right wing back and beat two men, played a lovely reverse ball to Jack McGonigle his perfect cross found Conor Mullan, who ghosted in to head home.

Rovers where rampant for the next 25 minutes crafting chances at will. Jack McGonigle was at the heart of much of this spell and Eglinton where finding it difficult to contain him.

Brendan McGonigle should have made it two when he was clean though but unaware he was in lots of space and trying to catch the keeper out, his shot on the turn was well wide.

Rovers should have been out of sight and knew Eglinton would still battle to the end and needed to take some of the chances their dominance and play deserved.

A second goal did come when Brendan McGonigle played a great ball over the centre half and Darrel Mulgrew raced past and clipped a great effort over the advancing keeper from outside the box.

Eglinton where handed a lifeline when a silly challenge on 40 minutes when the player was running across and away from goal in the box and Chris McInnes chopped him down and a certain penalty was dispatch by Tom Forrest.

This gave the home side a lift and Forrest came close after a powerful solo run on the left and shot that was drilled low across goal just wide.

Rovers still had a great chance just before the half when Chris McInnes had a chance to make amends found himself in space in the box with keeper to beat but fluffed his lines and failed to take the chance.

The second half was a more even game than the one sided first, Eglinton had plenty of power and passion and the goal gave them a lift and a hope.

Rovers however started again brightly but Jack McGonigle fired wide after Finbar O’Brien’s run and cross had created the chance.

In the 58th minute Rovers handed the Villagers their second present of the day.

A decent delivery from a corner and Jay Clyde slipped as he was about to head clear meant Chris McInnes beside him headed into his own net.

Rovers response was immediate and the McGonigle father and son act restored the lead with Brendan McGonigle breaking clear and calmly turning the defender at the edge of the box and un-selfishly squaring to his son Jack to tap in.

Rovers doubled the lead in the 82nd minute when Brefni King beat two men before calmly slotting the ball home.

Another corner late on lead to Jay Clyde turning the ball past Ryan Smyth for another own goal with 30 seconds left.

The referee added four minutes of stoppage time and Timmy Douglas broke to wrap things up but was unceremoniously taken off at the knees but the clearest red car ever but like McInnes, not even a yellow was produced and Rovers gladly accepted the final whistle for a 4-3 away victory.

Rovers half-time should have been out of sight, but the battling qualities of Eglinton and a strong forward in Forest always meant the home side were a threat throughout.