LSL Division 1
The win delighted manager Brian McCarthy " Delighted with the win and we have some breathing space, it was a massive result, we knew it was going to be a very difficult game, we'll have Craig Sheridan and Martin O' Neill back next week and hopefully Gavin Smith will be back soon, Nathan came off at half time, he's been terrific for us, but we needed to change things, he's young and he will learn a lot from today's game.
Cherry Orchard started the stronger and a couple of dangerous deliveries into the Saints penalty area could have easily ended in the back of the net.
The league leaders took the lead in the 18th minute when David Somers was found on the right with a beautiful through ball by John Reilly, Somers made no mistake and scored with an emphatic finish that flew into the back of the net. The Cherry Orchard response was good and they equalised on the half hour mark when Luke Kelly punished some indecision in the Saints defence and he slotted the ball home. It was a scrappy half and the pitch didn't help either side with bobbles and plenty of passes went astray.
Manager Brian McCarthy made some tactical moves at half time with Brian Kelly replacing Nathan Brown and Brian Fitzpatrick slotting into partner the excellent Luke Harrison in the heart of the defence. Ten minutes later Brian Kelly started the move which restored the Saints lead, his long pass found Crowe, who did brilliantly to find Reilly who's shot was parried and Somers pounced to score his 19th goal of the season. It was a massive blow for the home side, and they faced an uphill task needing two goals to win.
Cherry Orchard threw everything at the Saints in search of an equaliser, but it was the Saints who came the closest to scoring when John Reilly was denied in the last minute, tired legs on a heavy pitch played a part, and the goalkeeper made a comfortable save. It was scrappy, tense, physical, and it wasn't our best performance, but it's all about the points and the Saints now have a 12 point lead on Cherry Orchard although they have 3 games in hand. Cherry Orchard are the only side to beat the Saints in the league and that was on the 2nd of November. There is a long way to go but the Saints are in a fantastic position, so far, so good.
Team : Fee, Fitzpatrick, Harrison, Brown, ( Kelly 45 ) Doran, Deegan, K. Somers, Lancaster ( Lyons 63 ) D. Somers, Reilly, Crowe.
Subs : Kelly, Lyons, Wilson, McCullagh, O' Brien, Dixon.
Report : Derek Nulty.