Rovers see off Churchill but still need to sharper up

BBOB's Gary Collett holds off Annalong Swifts defender Mark Newell. INLS3715-114KM
BBOB's Gary Collett holds off Annalong Swifts defender Mark Newell. INLS3715-114KM

How Roe Rovers only defeated Churchill United 2-1, on Saturday is a mystery.

Rovers have rarely dominated a game so much, had so many chances and still could have left with only a point had it not been for keeper Cain Breslin being so alert and rushing off his line to make a great tackle late on.

Churchill almost took the lead in the 17th minute but their striker failed to hit the target.

The first incredible save from the Churchill keeper came after Darrell Mulgrew and Ciaran Deery played a neat one/two and then cut back to Tony Clyde but his effort was magnificently stopped.

Clyde was again put in after Deery combined with Brendan McGonigle on the left but again the keeper won the battle to save.

Just after the half-hour mark Jack McGonigle and Darrell Mulgrew produced some good wing play on the left and crossed and Brendan McGonigle got across the front post and headed just over.

The inevitable breakthough came in the 41st minute when Clyde danced through and side footed to the bottom corner, to eventually beat the almost unbeatable keeper.

Churchill responded in the first minute of the half with a couple of subs and a good cross and header that looped over the bar.

On 55 minutes Rovers doubled the lead and again it was Clyde who provided the finish in the same style, stroking it into the bottom corner.

Ten minutes later and Churchill, on a very rare appearance in the Rovers half, pulled one back when in the swirling wind a long shot sailed over Breslin and just under the bar.

Rovers made changes and Timmy Douglas who has 84 goals for the club rattled the post with a great effort.

Clyde was then sent through for his hat-trick but selflessly squared the ball for a tap in to Douglas at the back post. Inexplicably as he strode onto the ball he missed it completely and nut-megged himself.

He didn’t give up on the ball and retrieved it and set up Jack McGonigle whose shot almost went out for a throw on the other side.

Douglas then laid a great ball out to the edge of the box and Gary Faulkner struck it with a super connection; the keeper had gone the wrong way but it struck him and deflected to safety.

Rovers continued to press to restore their two goal lead but then the impressive Chris Doyle tried a back pass that was very short, the striker looked to be through but Cain Breslin did brilliantly.

Brilliantly because he kept his concentration when he had nothing to do for so long and reacted to quickly come off his line. He raced out and won the tackle ten yards outside his box to deny the striker and save Rovers from throwing away a win.

Points on the board for Rovers and some good passing football and but for great goalkeeping and poor finishing they could have scored many more goals.

Next up is Erne Rovers in the Irish Junior Cup this week and hopefully Rovers will have a few players back.

Meanwhile in the Premier Division, Lincoln Courts and Lisahally drew 1-1 at Clooney Park West with an OG for the Courts and Kirk for the visitors. Drummond had a good 4-2 home win against Tullyally; their goals coming from Ferris, McClean,Heaney and Rodgers with Cooke replying with two for the Colts.