All square at Phoenix Park

KEEPER’S BALL: Johnston goalkeeper Martin Langdon punches clear.PICTURE: Bill Carne (4649632)

KEEPER’S BALL: Johnston goalkeeper Martin Langdon punches clear.PICTURE: Bill Carne (4649632)

First published in Sport
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Goodwick United 1

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THE top of the table clash ended all-square as pace setters Goodwick United led 1-0 at half time but Johnston kept alive their hopes of silverware with a second-half equaliser.

Goodwick went closest to scoring early on when a Nigel Delaney free kick into the box caused all sorts of problems before Johnston’s defence scrambled it clear – and at the other end Nicky Woodrow was unable to get a touch on a cross drifted in by Scott Murray.

It was the home side who finally broke the deadlock at Phoenix Park as Rhys Dalling showed what a threat he poses up front as he shrugged off his marker and drilled a left-foot shot past Martin Langdon and into the Tigers’ net.

Johnston lost key midfielder Murray as he turned his ankle over and was replaced by Mark Jones but the visitors went close when a Luke Hayward free kick was saved by James Gwilt.

Dalling had another half chance as he was too sharp for two Johnston defenders but the ball rolled away in the skirmish and Goodwick had to settle for a 1-0 interval lead.

James Skudder, who looked sharp alongside Steve Dockerty, had a free kick blocked from 25 yards and the Tigers wasted their best chance so far when Joe John found himself unmarked in the six yard box, only for Gwilt to save his header when John would normally have buried such an opportunity.

But the Tigers finally levelled matters from a corner on the right where the ball was only partially cleared and Luke Hayward fired through a forest of legs and past the unsighted Gwilt to level matters.

It set up an exciting finish but neither side was able to break the deadlock and in the final analysis a draw was just about right on the balance of play.

Goodwick United: James Gwilt: Jac Pepper, Anthony Couzens, Nigel Delaney, Darren Devonald, Lewis Banks, Kieran O’Brien, James Evans, James Bottomley, Rhys Dalling, James Dean. Subs: Steve Blackford, Paul Thomas.

Johnston: Martin Langdon, Andrew John, Ben Phillips, Sion Price, Steve Mills, Steven Dockerty, Scott Murray, Luke Hayward, James Skudder, Joe John, Nicky Woodrow. Subs: Mark Jones, Ben Skudder, Lewis Boswell.

Referee: Paul Rooney.

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