Johnstown Take Spoils In Basement Battle

Thanks to a brace of goals from Arnold Luco and a solitary strike from Adam Ivers, Johnstown saw off the challenge of bottom side Navan Town in their O’Neills Sportswear Division 1 tie at the MDL on a freezing cold Friday night.

The home side’s first came with less than 100 seconds on the clock. Having initially lost the ball, Vinny Murphy regained possession with a determined tackle on half way and fed Lee Fahy. Fahy showed excellent vision and with a precise through ball released Arnold Luco, who streaked away from the defenders and coolly picked his spot across the keeper, opening the scoring.

Murphy almost doubled Johnstown’s lead just 2 minutes later. Great work on the right between Andre Sirb and Luco, saw the latter cross to the back post where the awaiting Murphy volleyed just wide.

It was not all one way traffic, and for the next 15 minutes, Navan Town looked more likely to equalise than Johnstown were to increase their lead. However, they never really troubled the Johnstown net.

With 26 minutes gone, the flash point which effectively decided the game arrived. After a clash on the half way line, Jamie Connolly and his opposite number went toe to toe and exchanged some verbals. All harmless and would have resulted in nothing more than a yellow apiece until have run 30 yards to get involved, a Navan Town front man blindsided Connolly with a shoulder in the back running at pace. The interloper saw red, literally and figuratively.

When the football resumed, Johnstown controlled what remained of the half with both Murphy and Halligan unlucky not to double their lead.

Navan Town did have a chance late on to make their hosts rue those missed opportunities. Having beaten the Johnstown back line, and faced with a 1-on-1 chance the front man pulled his effort wide and Johnstown survived to half time with a 1 goal lead.

10 minutes after the restart, Dan Halligan and Josh Gaffney combined well on the left resulting in a cross into the area where the awaiting Luco could only volley over from close range.

As the game entered its final quarter, Johnstown’s numerical advantage began to show. First a passage of play where numerous Johnstown players were lined up waiting to score, but none could dispatch their shot as Navan Town threw their bodies on the line, until Halligan, free on the left side of the area, hit his shot only to see it career back off the post.

Finally, the visitors’ resistance was broken with 19 minutes to go. Darren McQuillan began the move carrying the ball out from the back. Dan Halligan found Adam Ivers on the right. Facing down the keeper, Ivers’ first effort hit the post but luckily came straight back to him. He made no mistake the second time and put Johnstown 2 to the good.

2 minutes later, Johnstown were 3 up. A Bryan Gibney corner was thumped into the net by the head of Luco, a finish rarer than an honest politician.

On a bitterly cold night, the only one seemingly unaffected by the conditions was the referee who insisted on playing 7 minutes injury time despite the promised warmth of indoors. Eventually he blew the final whistle giving Johnstown their first win since September.

Johnstown FC Team: D. Shields, D. Bollard, J. Gaffney, D. McQuillan (c), J. Forde, J. Connolly, L. Fahy, V. Murphy, A. Sirb, D. Halligan, A. Luco
Subs: B. Gibney for Sirb, A. Ivers for Murphy, J. McDonnell for Gaffney, P. Dempsey for Halligan, W. Cahill for Bollard.

Johnstown Make it 4 from 4 in September

In form Johnstown made it 4 wins on the bounce with a hard fought win over Carrick Rovers by the odd goal in five in their O’Neill’s Sportswear Division 1 encounter at the MDL on Friday night.

The opening quarter was littered missed opportunities from both sides as they each tried to take control of the game.

Just after the half hour mark, Johnstown hit the front. Having been up field for a corner, Darren McQuillan found himself in possession in the Carrick area. His quick feet and nimble turn bamboozled the visiting defender who clumsily brought Johnstown’s captain down, leading the referee to point to the spot.

After a brief conversation between Murphy and Luco, the latter eventually dispatched the spot kick low to the keeper’s right giving his side the lead.

5 minutes later, Johnstown were 2 up. Vinny Murphy was tripped in the area. A second spot kick was awarded and having won the penalty, there was no need for any consultation on the taker. Murphy strode up and converted with ease.

Being 2 down at the interval, Carrick Rovers come out for the second half and increased their work rate. Within 5 minutes, they had pulled one back. A cross from out on their left eluded the Johnstown defence and found their man unmarked at the back post. Although Dan Shields saved marvellously from the first effort, with no one following in, the Monaghan man tapped in the rebound.

Within a minute, Johnstown almost restored their 2 goal cushion. An insightful through ball from Jason Colton freed Pierce Challenger. Under pressure from a couple of defenders, Challenger’s shot was saved by the visiting keeper.

Soon after, Johnstown were left rueing this missed effort as Carrick equalised. Again causing trouble on the Johnstown right, Carrick hit a low driven cross into the 6 yard area to the back post where, in his efforts to clear, Josh Gaffney could only find the back of his own net.

In fact, the score line could have gotten worse had Dan Shields not been on hand to steer a dipping shot from 20 yards, over the bar.

With the game entering its’ final quarter, the home side regained their lead. Making amends for his earlier mishap, Josh Gaffney drove powerfully forward before releasing Murphy on the left. Murphy beat a couple of defenders before pulling the ball back to the awaiting Luco. Without hesitation, Luco threw a long leg out and directed the ball into the net, securing the points for his side.

Johnstown FC Team: D. Shields, J. Colton, D. Grumley, D. McQuillan (c), J. Gaffney, P. Challenger, S. Challenger, B. Gibney, V. Murphy, K. Zeberek, A. Luco
Subs: L. Fahy for Gibney, J. Connolly for Grumley, D. Bollard for P. Challenger, J. Forde for Colton, D. Halligan for Murphy.

Johnstown Take Derby Spoils

Johnstown made it 2 wins in 10 days with an emphatic 4-0 derby victory over local rivals Navan Town at the MDL on Sunday.
Right from the off, Johnstown dominated possession but could have been 2 down in opening quarter of an hour as Navan hit out on the break.

One of these chances needed Dan Shields to be at his most alert. A deep free kick was played into the area where it was steered goalward only for Shields to dive to his right and keep it out.

Johnstown’s dominance was rewarded when Arnold Luco opened the scoring with 19 minutes played. A strong run by the front man beat 2 Navan Town players. He passed to Dylan Bollard, who returned the ball for Luco to finish inside the area.

5 minutes later, Johnstown were 2 to the good. Kacper Zeberek unleashed an unstoppable shot from 20 yards that flew in at the keeper’s near post.

It could have been worse for Navan Town had first Luco, whose shot was cleared off the line, and then Bollard, denied by the strong hand of the keeper, converted chances late in the half, however it remained 2-0 at the break.

Soon after the restart Shields was called on again. A quick break up field by Navan Town required the intervention of the Johnstown custodian with a low save to preserve Johnstown’s clean sheet.

As the half wore on, Johnstown’s superiority was evident if not illustrated by the score line as the in-form Navan keeper thwarted efforts from Luco, Zeberek and Sean Challenger.

Reward for their commanding display came on 70 minutes. A neat combination between Challenger & Luco led to a corner which was swung into a packed 6 yard box. The keeper failed to claim the cross which dropped to Jonathan Forde to finish first time at the back post.

2 minutes later, it was 4-0 to Johnstown. Kacper Zeberek set off on a solo run beating a number of defenders before finishing comfortably, his second of the day.

Although Navan Town still posed a threat on the break, the superb display by the defence as a unit ensured a very pleasing first clean sheet of the season as they look forward to next week’s LFA junior cup tie at home to Fort Rangers.

Johnstown FC Team: D. Shields, J. Colton, J. Connolly, J. Forde, J. Gaffney, D. McQuillan (c), S. Challenger, D. Bollard, V. Murphy, K. Zeberek, A. Luco
Subs: P. Challenger for Murphy, D. Grumley for S. Challenger.

Murphy’s Strike Ends Johnstown’s Barren Run

A dramatic injury time winner from Vinny Murphy clinched all 3 points for Johnstown as they finally opened their account this season, with a 5 goal thriller at the MDL on Thursday night.

The night began in familiar fashion. A loose ball in midfield was pounced on by the visitors. A couple of quick passes later, their front man was released and bearing down on goal. With Dan Shields backpedalling frantically, the Trim man’s effort came back off the crossbar. An early scare for Johnstown.

Soon after though, Trim Town hit the front. A quick break, followed by an unstoppable shot from just inside the area left Shields unable to keep it out at his near post with barely a quarter of an hour played.

As the clock ticked onto 30 minutes, a rather unsavoury incident on half way lead to the visitors being reduced to 10 men for striking out at Jason Colton on the ground.

Colton was involved in a more positive aspect of the game just before the interval. Following his strong run down the right, he fed Justin Flynn whose shot did not trouble the keeper.

With the numerical advantage, Johnstown started the 2nd half strongly. A Peter Dempsey lay off to Vinny Murphy led to the latter’s shot being deflected wide for a corner. The corner eventually broke to Sean Challenger on the edge of the area where he attempted to place his shot inside the left hand corner of the goal. However, on this occasion he could not impart enough bend on his effort and it went narrowly wide.

10 minutes into the half, Johnstown were level. A rapier-like break out from the back saw Wayne Cahill release Murphy down the left. His driven low cross found Dempsey at the back post. Illustrating an unselfish steak, the veteran teed up the onrushing Brian Gibney who finished off the move drawing his side level.

Just after the hour mark, Johnstown conceded a soft free kick about 25 yards from goal. The shot was spilled and with no Johnstown players following in, Trim Town were left with a simple tap in to restore their lead.

Johnstown’s second equaliser came on 74 minutes thanks to 2 second half substitutes. Arnold Luco, returning from injury, beat a couple of defenders down the right before picking out Dave Grumley, free in the area. With time to settle, Grumley blasted the ball home making 2-2.

For the rest of the match, Johnstown pressed and probed but could not find a finishing touch, all the while Trim Town were dangerous on the break, until the final moments of the game.

With 4 minutes of injury time elapsed, a Jamie Connolly cross to the back post, was met by Dave Grumley with the goal gaping. Showing the intelligence and experience garnered from many a year playing at his level, Grumley, rather than going for goal with defenders and keeper closing the available target, picked out Vinny Murphy with his header back across goal. Murphy, not needing a 2nd invitation, drilled home the winner, cueing celebrations among players, staff and supporters on the touchline, born as much from relief as from joy.

Johnstown FC Team: D. Shields, J. Colton, J. Connolly, D. McQuillan (c), J. Gaffney, J. Flynn, S. Challenger, B. Gibney, P. Dempsey, V. Murphy, W. Cahill
Subs: A. Luco for Flynn, D. Grumley for Dempsey, J. Forde for Gaffney .

Johnstown Fall to Local Rivals

Another Thursday night of misery for all involved with Johnstown as their winless streak continued. This week’s visitors, leaving with all 3 points after a competitive local derby were Kentstown Rovers.

The home side were largely in control from the off. Despite their possession, Johnstown just could not break down the well organised Kentstown defence until midway through the first half when Wayne Cahill latched onto a decisive pass from captain Sean Challenger. Unfortunately for his side, Cahill just could not keep his shot down to trouble Darren Lynch in the visitors’ net.

The only goal of the game came with 8 minutes of the half remaining. A free kick on halfway was launched high into the Johnstown area. Keeper Dan Shields came out to clear however a Kentstown head beat him to it. The ball broke to Stephen Cummins who volleyed home into an unguarded net.

Early in the second half, a short corner routine led to Dylan Bollard’s driven shot destined for the top corner until intervention of the Kentstown keeper, clawing the ball wide for a corner.

Half time substitute Peter Dempsey had 2 good efforts around the hour mark. His first followed a good strong run on the ball. Sadly, he did not connect as he’d have liked and his shot was rather tame and straight at the keeper. His 2nd chance in this spell, with the aid of a deflection, momentarily troubled the keeper but he recovered and saved comfortably.

As the game wore on, Johnstown threw more and more bodies forward in search of the equaliser but still could not find the breakthrough. Kentstown, dangerous on the counter attack, almost doubled their lead in the final moments.

An intercepted pass in their defensive third lead to them racing the length of the field. As the visiting player entered the Johnstown area, he pulled his shot wide. This miss was not to prove costly however, as the final whistle went moments later condemning the hosts to their 5 defeat in a row.

Johnstown FC Team: D. Shields, J. Colton, J. Connolly, J. Gaffney, D. Bollard, J. McLoughlin, S. Challenger (c), B. Gibney, D. Halligan, V. Murphy, W. Cahill
Subs: P. Dempsey for McLoughlin, L. Kelly for Halligan, D. Grumley for Murphy, S. Brazil for Gaffney.

Emphatic Enfield Take Points

A defeat is only a loss if you fail to learn from it, and so far this season Johnstown have had ample lessons to learn.

It was another disappointing outing for Johnstown this week, succumbing to a second successive heavy defeat at home in their O’Neill’s Sportswear Division 1 clash on Thursday night with Enfield the victors, winning out 5 goals to 2.

A promising start by the home side saw Justin Flynn shoot narrowly wide from distance as the visiting keeper scrambled to cover his net with just 2 minutes passed.

Shortly after, the visiting side began to take control and but for a superb sliding block/tackle by Dylan Bollard on 8 minutes, they could have taken the lead. A dangerous cross from their right eluded everyone in the box except for the lurking attacker on the back post. His instant control and shot required Bollard to be at his most alert to block the shot before it could reach Dan Shields in the home side’s goal.

As another few minutes elapsed, Enfield again found themselves free in the area. Living up to his name, Shields stood tall and batted away the shot to his right, keeping the game scoreless.

However, the pressure from Enfield was soon to pay off as midway through the first half they took the lead. A missed clearance in the back line was pounced upon. The visiting striker took full advantage of the error and comfortably took his chance.

Just before the half hour mark, Johnstown won a corner on the right. As the cross entered the 6 yard box, and under no pressure from the home side, an Enfield defender lucklessly steered into his own net bringing the hosts level.

Within 10 minutes, Enfield restored their lead. A free awarded just inside their half was launched long and high into the Johnstown area where it was met by an unmarked visiting head. Enfield were quickest to react to the flick on and one easy turn saw them 1-on-1 with Shields who could do little as the ball was hammered past him from close range.

It was to get worse for Johnstown just before the break as another individual error , this time a missed header, freed up the Enfield man wide on the right. His low ground cross found their man who managed to finish off the move with a rather clumsy finish despite McQuillan’s best efforts to exert pressure on him.

The second was to see more of the same. Individual and team errors punished ruthlessly by an efficient Enfield side.

The first of these came 3 minutes after the restart. A long throw was hurled into the Johnstown area and was met by the head of an unmarked man who flicked it straight into the net.

A carbon copy goal followed 10 minutes later as Enfield made it 5-1. Another throw in launched into the area, lax marking and no challenge as the ball was met by a free header. Shields could only watch before picking the ball out of his net for the 5th time of the night.

There was small consolation to come when Kacper Zeberek was felled in the area. He quickly dusted himself off before firing the penalty he had won into the net making it 5-2 with 9 minutes left.

Any hopes of a comeback were short lived however as Johnstown could not get any momentum or continuous flow to their game as Enfield remained in control for the remainder of the game.

Johnstown FC Team: D. Shields, J. Colton, D. McQuillan (c), J. Forde, J. Gaffney, D. Bollard, J. Flynn, S. Challenger, B. Gibney, K. Zeberek, D. Halligan
Subs: D. Grumley for McQuillan, W, Cahill for Flynn, A. Mooney for Halligan, L. Kelly for Gaffney.

Seniors First Team 15-16

Johnstown Dent Ardee Title Challenge

Following Tuesday night’s disappointing 4-2 reverse to Athboy, Johnstown welcomed title-chasers Ardee Celtic to the MDL on Friday night.

Determined to have some say in this season title race, Johnstown were much improved from their last outing and matched the visitors in all aspects in the early exchanges.

A quick corner routine between Sean Challenger, captain in the absence through injury of Darren McQuillan, and Arnold Luco led to the former seeing his fierce shot whistle narrowly wide with a quarter of an hour played.

10 minutes later, Johnstown opened the scoring. An Ardee Celtic corner produced a chance which Dylan Byrne gathered comfortably before his quick clearance found Challenger in midfield. His chipped pass, weighted perfectly over the retreating backline as Johnstown broke at speed, fell perfectly for top scorer Luco who blasted the ball past the keeper giving the home side the lead.

Shortly after, Luco should have doubled his tally for the evening. Vinny Murphy, tricky as ever crossed along the ground to Luco at the back post. Unfortunately, he could not keep his shot under the bar.

Ardee’s best chance of the half came just shy of the interval as they beat Johnstown’s offside line. Bearing down on Byrne in the Johnstown net, all in attendance could only watch as the attacker drilled his shot well wide.

The second half was played out in an increasingly tense fashion with few chances falling to either side until the mid way point. A long ball out by Ardee led to both home centre backs slipping, freeing the way forward for the Louth men. Only a last ditch tackle by Jake McDermott prevented the visitors getting their shot away.

Ardee continued to exert pressure as the second half wore on and on 72 minutes would have equalised but for Jay Colton’s goal-line clearance.

Unfortunately for Johnstown, that equaliser did arrive just 6 minutes later. A long free kick from Ardee was allowed to bounce in the area, before the visiting forward tucked the ball passed Byrne, drawing his side level.

With eyes firmly on the upcoming semi final against Navan Cosmos, Johnstown will be pleased with the improved level of performance and hope to have a fully fit side back in time for their cup tie.

Johnstown FC Team: D. Byrne, D. Bollard, J. Colton, J. Connolly, J. McDermott, D. Grumley, S. Challenger (c), V. Murphy, C. O’Sullivan, A. Ivers, A. Luco

Seniors First Team 15-16

Johnstown Hit 3 Against Navan Town

Johnstown avenged their opening day defeat to Navan Town, running out victors by 3 goals to nil in their O’Neill’s Sportswear Division 1 clash at the MDL on Sunday morning.

The first half saw the home team dominate proceedings and were in front after just 10 minutes. Quick thinking from Sean Challenger saw him play a corner on the Johnstown left out to Vinny Murphy standing just outside the area. The right-sided midfielder struck a low drive across the area and into the net.

Murphy was to turn provider 8 minutes later as his corner on the opposite flank was cleared to the feet of Challenger in the middle of the goal 20 yards out. Despite the presence of 2 closing defenders, Challenger readjusted his feet quickly and hit a left footed drive low past the despairing dive of the visiting keeper to double his side’s advantage.

Just before the half hour mark, a rampant Johnstown went 3 goals clear. Justin Flynn weighted his through ball perfectly as Aaron Mooney broke a disciplined rear line. With 1 touch he rounded the keeper, before lifting his finish into the net as 2 covering defenders slid low in vain.

Despite the gulf in performance between the two sides, that was where the scoring ended. Indeed, chances for the rest of the match were at a premium.

Just after the restart, Wayne Cahill and Arnold Luco combined well to set up Aaron Mooney. Unfortunately for Johnstown, as he lifted his attempt over the keeper, Mooney could not keep it down under the bar.

As the second half wore on, the visitors came back into the game and could have pulled a goal back on the hour mark. Getting far more joy down their left, Navan Town crossed from out wide. It was met by the strong head of their front man, free about 6 yards out. Rather than hitting the back of the net, the header produced a tremendous point blank save from Dylan Byrne, who was then aided by Jay Colton clearing any follow up.

Shortly after, Challenger released Luco from deep. With the keeper flying out of his area, and under pressure from his marker, Luco dispatched an early shot low but was well saved by the keeper’s legs outside his area.

With 8 minutes left to play, Joke McDermott played in Stephen Ivers. With the keeper beaten, the Johnstown substitute’s shot smacked off the base of the near post.

Despite the drop in intensity once 3-0 up, Johnstown will be happy to have secured their first win 4 games.

Johnstown FC Team: D. Byrne, D. Bollard, J. Colton, D. McQuillan (c), J. McDermott, W. Cahill, S. Challenger, J. Flynn, V. Murphy, A. Mooney, A. Luco
Subs: S. Ivers for Flynn, J. Forde for Challenger, J. Gaffney for Murphy.

Seniors First Team 15-16

Johnstown Chop Woodview Down

Johnstown completed an unbeaten January with a fine 6-2 victory over Friday night’s visitors to the MDL, Woodview Celtic.

The Dundalk side were unlucky not be in front after a dominant opening period, being thwarted a couple of times by Dylan Byrne in the Johnstown nets & a superb last ditch tackle by Jamie Connolly with Woodview through on goal.

Johnstown began to grow into the game & it was not too long until they made Woodview regret their missed opportunities.

A quick fire double from Kacper Żeberek put his side in control just after the half hour.

His first came from a quick corner on Johnstown’s right as Żeberek met Sean Challenger’s far post cross with a superb diving header.

3 minutes later, it was 2-0. The ever influential Challenger released Dylan Bollard with an excellent ball down the right. The Johnstown right back powered in the area and played in Żeberek who slotted home across the keeper.

With a few minutes to play in the first half, Arnold Luco was through on goal. He went down under the challenge of a defender in the box but the referee waved the away loud appeals from the home side.

The hosts came out after the interval, firing on all cylinders once again and within 2 minutes were 3-0 up. Wayne Cahill’s perfectly weighted through ball found Vinny Murphy’s run. As he entered the area, Murphy pulled his left foot shot across the keeper into the bottom corner.

As Johnstown’s dominance grew in this period of the game, they could have been further ahead. Luco was first denied by a combination of keeper & post before Murphy was released in an almost carbon copy move that lead to his goal, but as the keeper stood tall, the Johnstown man could only chip into the waiting keeper’s hands.

Then came the moment that breathed life back into Woodview Celtic’s challenge in the game. With an hour elapsed, their forward tumbled in the box under a challenge from Darren McQuillan. The referee showed no hesitation this time in awarding the penalty. Despite his best efforts, Byrne could do little to keep out the spot kick as his side’s advantage was reduced to 3 goals to 1.

This set back did not deter the home side, and soon after, they restored their 2 goal cushion. Challenger’s vision & execution of pass freed Wayne Cahill who grateful accepted the chance to chip in his 10th league goal of the season.

With 15 minutes left, Woodview came back again. They stole possession high up the field on their right and following a quick interchange of passes laid the ball back for a shot driven home low to Byrne’s right.

The game stood at 4-2, and as the old cliché goes, the next goal would be crucial and it came with 5 minutes left. Kacper Żeberek held off a number of defenders before laying the ball off across the face of goal to the waiting Adam Ivers. The second half substitute tapped into an empty net making it 5-2, securing the points for his side.

In the final minute, Ivers turned provider as he set up Arnold Luco for another tap in finishing off the scoring.

This 6-2 win ensured Johnstown finished January unbeaten with 3 wins & a draw from their 4 games and will fill them with confidence ahead of a return to cup action next week.

Johnstown FC Team: D. Byrne, D. Bollard, J. Colton, D. McQuillan (c), J. Connolly, D. Grumley, W. Cahill, S. Challenger, V. Murphy, K. Zeberek, A. Luco
Subs: J. McDermott for Colton, A. Ivers for Murphy, P. Challenger for S. Challenger, P. Dempsey for Cahill.

Seniors First Team 15-16

Black Bull Fight Back to Hold Johnstown

Table toppers Black Bull were the visitors to the MDL on Friday night, where they played out a 2-2 draw with Johnstown.

The opening quarter of an hour saw both sides have their share of possession without either showing any real cutting edge until a fine ball by Dylan Bollard released Vinny Murphy on the right. He cut into the area and fired his shot high over the keeper only to see it thunder back off the crossbar.

Dylan Bollard was instrumental in the next chance created in the game 5 minutes later. This time, however, he was key to keeping his side level as he cleared a Black Bull header from a corner off the line.

The scoring was opened shortly after as a precise move down their right saw Black Bull cross to their front man free in the area to slot home a low shot across goal.

The hosts had a couple of chances to level things before the break, both falling to full back Jason Colton. The first was an acrobatic effort as he connected with a cross from Vinny Murphy. The second, a header from a Sean Challenger delivery from a free kick. Unfortunately neither effort found the net.

Johnstown’s equaliser came 9 minutes into the second half. A foul on Colton gave Johnstown a free kick 20 yards out on the left of the penalty area. Kacper Zeberek’s shot took a wicked deflection as it passed through a gap on the end of the wall and snuck into the bottom corner at the far post with the keeper completely wrong footed.

Within a minute, Johnstown hit the front. Zeberek’s ball freed Arnold Luco on the left. He held off a number of defenders as he ran across the area before pulling his shot back across goal into the net.

The first red card of the night came on 64 minutes as a deliberate handball in midfield resulted in a second caution for the Black Bull man reducing his side to 10 men.

Worse was to befall the men from Drogheda as 3 minutes later, they were further reduced to 9 men. Luco ran on to a through ball, rounded the keeper and shot from wide. It was destined to make it 3-1 until the timely but illegal intervention of a defender, as he reached out and handled on the line.

The referee had no hesitation in awarding the penalty, and after a further confrontation the area, a red card to the guilty party. On as a second half substitute, Pierce Challenger took the responsibility of taking the penalty. His well struck spot-kick was brilliantly saved by the visiting custodian.

5 minutes after all the drama, Johnstown were made to pay. A ball from deep caught out the Johnstown defence and saw a Black Bull forward steal in ahead and nick the ball over the advancing Byrne in the Johnstown net before hammering home to level matters.

With a 2 man advantage it was no surprise that Johnstown dominated the remainder of the game but they rarely troubled the opposition goal.
As the final whistle sounded, the air of disappointment around the Johnstown camp was palpable as the reality of what was 2 points dropped against the league leaders sunk in.

Johnstown FC Team: D. Byrne, D. Bollard, J. Colton, D. McQuillan (c), J. Connolly, D. Grumley, W. Cahill, S. Challenger, V. Murphy, K. Zeberek, A. Luco
Subs: P. Challenger for Grumley, J. McDermott for Colton, A. Mooney for Cahill, A. Ivers for Bollard, M. Grumley for Murphy