Match details below
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St John Bosco’s B 1 Albert Rovers 1
(after extra time)
You know when Bosco’s B keeper Noel Murphy is on the field. You hear him. But Murphy’s constant shouting to his colleagues is just one aspect of his game.
He showed another at Water Rock Park on Saturday when making a series of fine saves and well judged interventions to help Bosco's B to a 1-1 draw in the Murphy Stout AOH Cup with visitors Albert Rovers who enjoyed majority possession and had enough ball to win comfortably.
Rovers will be kicking themselves. Cruising to a third round date with Glenthorn B, they took their foot off the pedal and were caught by a late equaliser. They again held the upper hand in extra time, particularly in the second period, but Murphy was in no mood to concede another and a replay will now be arranged for the Douglas Community School.
Murphy was regularly tested in the first half and he made perhaps his best save in the 13the minute. Mick Sadic had knifed his way through the defence but, having passed the last man, found Murphy blocking his shot just as it left his foot.
And Sadic was again foiled in the 20th minute as he latched onto a header-on by Mark Molloy. Midway through, Murphy made another fine stop, beating away a near post effort by Alan Daly.
Bosco's had just one noteworthy effort in this opening period and that came with about three minutes to go. Then Anthony Dunne raced in on goal after a Joe Hartnett long ball had broken for him. Dunne coolly slotted past advancing keeper Brendan O'Sullivan and couldn’t believe it when the low drive went wide off the outside of the post.
The third quarter was a fairly even contest before Alberts regained the initiative and indeed gained the lead midway through. The 67th minute breakthrough followed a couple of minutes of intense pressure. Sadic received the ball, on the right, and his cross fell for Gary Wade whose 18 yard drive sped low through a crowded box and past the probably unsighted keeper.
But Murphy denied Wade a couple of minutes later to keep his side in the match and had his reward with less than four minutes to go. Graham Dennehy floated a long free kick into a poorly defended area of the Albert’s box and Dunne whipped a low drive past the advancing keeper and into the far corner.
The first period of extra time didn't produce much though a shot on the turn by Albert‘s sub Kieran Kennelly left Murphy stranded for once and he was relieved to see it flash wide of his far post.
The city outfit ruled in the second period but Murphy wasn't about to loosen his grip on his own little kingdom. In the 4th minute, he was in just the right place to grab a volley by Sadic.
There were two Sadics to contend by now but Murphy would not be beaten. Mick lifted an overhead lob over the backs and into the path of brother Kevin but the sub was surprised by the speed of Murphy who intervened to prevent the shot.
And Murphy was smiling again a minute later. Then scorer Wade broke into the Saints’ box on the right but, from a good position, drove well over the target. It was Murphy’s day and even a yellow card from referee Stephen O'Connell failed to dampen his noisy spirit.
St John Bosco’s B: Noel Murphy, Eric Desmond, Graham Dennehy, Joe Hartnett, Gerry O'Sullivan, Greg Cahill, Joe Ryan, Ken O'Mahony, Anthony Dunne, Tony Flynn and Thomas O'Leary. Subs used: Willie Crowley for Flynn (63rd minute), Mark O’Brien for Cahill (75th) and Alan Ahern for O'Sullivan (85th).
Albert Rovers: Brendan O'Sullivan, Mick Brennan, Kevin O'Callaghan, John Lowry, Alan Daly, Mark Collins, Gary Wade, Niall Murphy, Mark Molloy, Mick Sadic and William Daly. Subs used: Kieran Kenneally for W. Daly (61st minute) and Kevin Sadic for Collins (84th).
Referee: Stephen O’Connell.