Denny Premier A 2013/14 , Spa Road Fc v Listowel Celtic
By Tommy Naughton
Listowel put in a powerful and fluent performance to extend their lead at the top of the division to ten points and are now nearly certain a place in this season’s league final and only an end of season collapse would see them fail in making it. Spa Road on the other hand showed why they are in the relegation battle as they never could cope with their opponents who should have won by a much bigger score line but for poor finishing.
The game was only two minutes old when the home sides keeper had to be called into action to make a double save, first from Ian Murphy and then from Kevin Bambury. However within two minutes it was one nil to the visitors. Paudie Quinn made a driving run in from the right wing beating two defenders before pulling the ball back to Brian Murphy who from six yards out made no mistake in finding the back of the net.
It really should have been two nil minutes later after Bryan Murphy picked out Ian Murphy with a diagonal through ball, Murphy rounded the keeper but was forced wide of the goal as he shot from the end line David Cunningham slid in and deflected the ball over the bar when maybe pulling the ball back to the waiting players might have been the better option.
Spa Roads first attempt on goal came after 11 minutes when Brendan Sweeney saw his long range effort deflected out for a corner by Kevin McCarthy but the corner was taken short and wasted.
Listowel finally doubled their lead after 17 minutes. Bryan Murphy picked the ball up just inside the half, he proceeded to ghost past three players before rolling the ball to Kevin Bambury who was just yards from goal and finished giving Pa Fitzgibbon no chance.
Things got worse for the home side two minutes later when Pa Walsh played in Ian Murphy who was taken down by a combination of Pa Fitzgibbon and David Cunningham and referee Stuart Templeman pointed to the spot. Paudie Quinn sent the penalty kick to the keepers right and sending him the wrong way in the process.
Ian Murphy came close to adding to the score line but his low curling shot was saved by Fitzgibbon. Spa Road were all over the place trying to cope with the non stop pressure by Listowel and didn’t seem to know what to do about the movement in the final third by Kevin Bambury, Bryan Murphy, Eddie Joe Walsh and Ian Murphy while Paudie Quinn was the star man on show in the first half running the entire game.
Spa Roads closest chance of scoring came just after the half hour mark when Brendan Sweeney’s free kick was floated in to the box and seemed to be misjudged by Darragh O’Shea and came back of the post to a Listowel defender before being cleared. Kevin Bambury nearly got his second just before half time when is side foot volley hit the post from an Eddie Joe Walsh cross.
Straight from the kick off another great move saw Ian Murphy shot over after a double step over from Bambury and Pa Walsh. The fourth goal which was nearly missed by everyone as Spa Road having a throw inside their own half which was thrown towards the Spa Road keeper but Kevin Bambury was quickest to react and intercept before walking the ball over the goal line to kill off the game.
The games pace and attitude from some players dropped after this and in the searing heat it was no wonder with the score line at four nil but the Listowel management will be happy to have gotten another game under their belts. Listowel should really have added to their lead on the hour mark when Kevin Bambury put his penalty wide after being taken down when on his way through on goal.
Pa Fitzgibbon again had to be alive to stop the lead getting any bigger when he denied Bryan Murphy his second from a diving header. The only save that Darragh O’Shea had to make came in the 74th minute when Jonathan Loughnane played a ball over the top for Shane Fitzgerald who had got past the offside trap. Fitzgerald got to the end line and pulled the ball back for Sweeney but his effort lacked any power and was easily saved by O’Shea.
Listowel Played the final ten minutes with ten men when Martin Loughnane came off injured after they had used up there three subs .
Spa Road FC: Pa Fitzgibbon, David Cunningham , Jonathan Loughnane , Peter Coffey, Joseph Duggan, John Quirke, Shane Fitzgerald, Adrian Horan, Dominic Houlihan, Mike Duggan , Brendan Sweeney . Subs, James o Driscoll for John Quirke (45 Mins) , Ryan Byrne for Mike Duggan (77 Mins) .
Listowel Celtic: Darragh o Shea, Martin Loughnane, Seamus Keane, Kevin McCarthy, Paudie Quinn, Ian Murphy, Kevin Bambury, Eddie Joe Walsh, Pa Walsh, Bryan Murphy, Graham Tarrant . Subs ; Ricky Halpin for Graham Tarrant (55 mins) , Ricky Hanley for Paudie Quinn (55 mins) ,
Mikey Paul Kelliher for Pa Walsh (75 mins) .
Referee; Stuart Templeman .