How this game was 2-1 can only be described as remarkable. 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.
It took 11 minutes in the blustery conditions to settle the game down and Rovers have their first chance. Alan Nicholl played in Brendan McGonigle whose well timed run saw him charge in at goal. Tony Clyde in support should have been the pass but he delayed and allowed a block and a corner instead of a goal. Churchill almost took the lead in the 17th minute when a cross left the striker with an open net but he volleyed a sitter well over. Tony Clyde was through a minute later but got the ball caught up in his feet and never got into his stride and the chance went begging. Finbar O’Brien made a great run forward in the 20th minute and was played in but his first touch was poor and took the ball too close to the keeper. The first incredible save from the Churchill keeper came after Darrell Mulgrew and Ciaran Deery played a neat 1-2 and then cut back to Tony Clyde who shot and incredibly the keeper got across his goal and made a magnificent stop. Clyde was again was put in after Deery combined with Brendan McGonigle on the left but again the keeper won the battle with Clyde and saved. Rovers should have had a penalty as Jack McGonigle made a dart to the front post and came past the keeper on his blind side. A good low front post delivery to jack saw the keeper come and take Jack’s ankles instead of the ball but the referee gave the benefit to the keeper and gave a free out. Finbar O’Brien again found himself in the box such was the dominance the right back was in space at the back post and he delayed his shot that needed to be hit first time but the keeper was able to save again. 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 break though came in the 41st minute when tony Clyde danced through and side footed to the bottom corner to eventually beat the almost unstoppable keeper. Brendan McGonigle made a good run and good cut back but there was no one on the end of it and at half time incredibly it was 1-0.
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. With five minutes gone Rovers doubled the lead and again it Tony Clyde who provided the finish in the same style stroking it into the bottom corner. Twenty minutes gone and Churchill on a very rare appearance in the Rovers half got one back. In the swirling wind a long shot sailed over Breslin and just under the bar. Rovers made their subs and Timmy Douglas who has 84 goals for the club rattled the post with a great effort. Clyde was then through for his hatrick but selfishly squared the ball for a tap in to Douglas at the back post but inexplicably as Timmy 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 and the keeper had went the wrong way but it struck him on his butt cheek and deflected to safety. Rovers continued to press to restore their 2 goal lead but then the impressive Chris Doyle tried a back pass that was way short. The striker looked to be through but Cain Breslin did brilliantly. Brilliant because he kept his concentration when he had nothing to do for so long and reacted quick off his line and 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 had lots more. Next up if Erne Rovers in the Irish Junior Cup next week and hopefully Rovers will have a few players back.
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