LSL Division 1
David and Karl Somers were both absent due to family commitments and they were a big loss. It was a very scrappy game with few chances created. Glen Crowe went close to opening the scoring in the 15th minute but his out stretched leg couldn't get a good connection to steer Lancaster's cross into the net. Jordan Lancaster opened the scoring on the half hour mark when his free kick was misjudged by the goalkeeper and it sailed over his head and into the net. Nathan Brown went close to making it 2-0 five minutes later when his volley was cleared off the line. Cherry Orchard equalised in added time in the first half when Ciaran Byrne forced the ball over the line, Warren Fee in goal appeared to be impeded as he caught the ball and when it dropped Byrne found the back of the net, despite very strong appeals for a free kick ,the referee awarded the goal. It was a massive lift for the away side right on the half time whistle.
Warren Fee made two top class saves just after half time, with the Orchard forward bearing down on goal Fee made a one handed save and he was then up rapidly to block the follow on shot. The Saints goalkeeper has grown in confidence this season and he's having a fine season. Graham Hughes replaced Gavin Smith in the 55th minute, Smith looked to have pulled his hamstring. Hughes impressed again when he came on and he used the ball well. Lancaster tested the goalkeeper with a free kick and Cherry Orchard had a header at the back post that went wide in the 57th minute.
Cherry Orchard took the lead in the 67th minute when Paul Muffat blocked Nathan Browns clearance and when the ball fell kindly for him he slotted the ball home with a tidy finish. The Saints who have a habit of coming from behind threw everything at the Orchard but were restricted to shots from distance and the away side defended well and were very difficult to break down.
It was a below par performance today and Cherry Orchard deserved the three points. The away side got a break with the equaliser, it's very frustrating and all you want is consistency with decisions, but it's swings and roundabouts. All good things must come to an end, the unbeaten run was always going to end at some stage. The air of disappointment after the game shows how far the team has come. It's our first defeat of the season, it won't be our last. That's football.
Team : Fee, Fitzpatrick, Kelly, Brown, C. Sheridan, Lyons, Deegan ( Wilson 64 ) Lancaster, Smith ( Hughes 55 ) Reilly, Crowe ( Hilliard )
Subs : Hilliard, Wilson, Hughes, M. Sheridan, Snowe, O' Brien.
Report : Derek Nulty>