Johnstown Vs Ardee Reserve Cup Semi-final report Saturday the 28th April 2018
Johnstown has been struggling with a relegation battle for the last number of weeks so the reserve cup was a very welcome break and to add fuel to the fire the last time both of these teams met Ardee came well out on top 8-1 !
In fairness to Johnstown over the last number of months have stabled the ship with some very positive results and really look like a team that can stay up in the Premier reserve under the guidance from Fergal Bernie.
Johnstown started the game in very positive form with most of the opening possession with Johnstown, it took Ardee about twenty minutes to really get going with the number 10 up front a constant threat. However, Johnstown pressed really well with Richie Nevin out on left making some fantastic runs ripping the Ardee defence apart time and time again.
Johnstown controlled the first half completely with some fantastic performances from Dave Grumbly and Barry Halpin in the back also the three midfielders Shane Kelly, Barry Quinn & Jimmy Caffrey dominated.
Johnstown had most of the chances in the first half the best fell to veteran striker Peter Dempsey, Kelly split the defence with a fantastic pass Dempsey pounced with fantastic pace
And tried to do a Mo Salah and chip the keeper, however, the keeper was quick off his line and made a fantastic save to deny the veteran striker his 19th of the campaign but then up popped Richie Nevin with the follow to hit the bar he should have scored …….
Minutes later a nice lay off by Dempsey set Kelly up with a fantastic strike from 30 yards which came back off the crossbar. Ten minutes later Johnstown had another fantastic attempt by Jimmy Caffrey which struck the crossbar again which was followed up quickly by Dave Grumbly who headed back across the goal to his defensive mate Barry Halpin but he was unable to put it away. The chances kept on coming, Nevin made another fantastic run on the left and squared it to Dempsey but the pass was slightly ahead of him.
The second half started very much like the end of first half with Johnstown pressing very high and the opening goal came from a fantastic pass into Dempsey by Caffrey Dempsey turned his defender inside out looked up and seen Nevin out on the left and with the outside of his boot he split the defence and put in on a plate for Nevin to slot it home Johnstown one nil up.
Ardee pushed really hard after losing the goal and in fairness where the better team for the next twenty minutes with the Ardee number 10 a constant threat, however, Adam Ivers who worked tirelessly on the right-hand side made a great run and slid Dempsey in down the channel Dempsey skipped passed the oncoming defender and picked out a pass across the box to Nevin who held it up well then turned his defender inside out and put it in the top corner for his second on day fantastic.
In fairness to Ardee, they came back really strong and the big number 10 who had been threatening all day went around three Johnstown players and slotted into the back of the net game on 2-1.
Johnstown was dealt a big blow with 20 minutes to go Karl (Johnstown keeper) went over very awkwardly on his ankle after 10 minutes of treatment he had to come off. Big thanks to Karen Byrne for looking after him, with a lot of discussions between the Johnstown team Dempsey decided to put himself forward to go in goal.
Johnstown played out the reaming 20 minutes really well with fantastic contributions from young Adam Foye , Alan Burke & Andrea Sierb, in the end, Johnstown held out to claim their place in the Reserve cup final next Saturday 3 o clock MDL .