Denny Premier A 2013/14 , Spa Road v Rattoo Rovers
By Tommy Naughton
Rattoo Rovers extend their lead to five points at the top of the table after a good win in Tralee against Spa Road.
The game quite possibly should have been abandoned considering the pitch was drenched in 24 hours worth of rain and it if the state of the pitch is anything to go by come full time it might be awhile before Spa Road can use it again.
Rattoo started the better and had an early chance when Martin O Connor broke down the right before crossing deep in to the box where Liam Boyle connected with a bicycle kick that went straight in to Gary Sugrue’s hand.
Colin Looney had the home sides first chance but from a tight angle he chipped wide of the far post after getting past the Rattoo back four.
Then on the 15 minute mark Mike Hussey crossed for Liam Boyle, who knocked a header down into the path of Padraig Boyle who fired wide. The pitch continued to worsen and by the time it got to the half hour mark any hope of trying to pass a ball through the centre of the pitch had gone, as it was nothing short of a mud marsh.
Liam Boyle still managed to come close again for Rattoo when his volley swerved just wide of the near post.
With five minutes remaining till half time Joe Duggan attempted to break the deadlock. The full back broke past three defenders before getting a shot in under pressure that went straight into the hands of Padraig Harrington.
The visitors got the break through just one minute later, however. Padraig Boyle won the ball in the middle of the pitch before playing in Liam Boyle, Boyle under pressure from Jonathan Loughnane fired first time low across the goal and the ball trickled through the mud and over the line.
Boyle should have doubled the lead just before the break, when an Aidan Boyle cross found him on his own six yards from goal, but the front man somehow transpired to head over the bar.
The second half saw Spa Road dominate the possession stakes but to be fair Padraig Harrington in the Rattoo goal wasn’t called into action too often.
Indeed Rattoo had the better of the chances. Liam Boyle sent Kevin Bowler through on goal with a well executed back heal but Bowler shot high and wide with only the keeper to beat . Patrick Moriarty had Spa roads first chance of the half but his shot from distance just went over the bar.
Road seemed on the right track and were, by that stage, having a good spell. Adrian Horan saw his well hit shot easily saved by Padraig Harrington as they went in search of an equalizer.
However, their visitors still looked dangerous on the break and with twenty minutes remaining could have doubled the advantage. Kieran Godley sent a long throw into the box which Liam Boyle flicked on for Kevin Bowler but Gary Sugrue was on hand to save low at his feet . Spa Road suffered another blow on the 75th minute mark when centre back Jonathan Loughnane went off with what looked to be a serious knee injury and things when from bad to worse when Rattoo finally doubled their lead with just 3 minutes remaining.
Kieran Godley’s corner found Aidan Boyle standing all on his own on the six yard box to make it two nil with only minutes remaining.
Brendan Sweeney did pull a goal back in the 95th minute with a good strike from just inside the box but it was little to late for the Tralee side who might feel they could have got something from the game but were lacking something in the final third.
Spa Road: Gary Sugrue , Blake Byrne, Peter Coffey , Jonathan Loughnane , Joe Duggan , Paul Murray , Tony Hennessey, Adrian Horan , Colin Looney, Patrick Moriarty , Mike Duggan . Subs; David O Leary for Paul Murray, Brendan Sweeney for Patrick Moriarty , James O Driscoll for Jonathan Loughnane .
Rattoo Rovers: Padraig Harrington, Gary O Brien , Mikey Boyle, Tom Prizell , Gary Lynch , Aidan Boyle , Kieran Godley , Padraig Boyle , Mike Hussey, Liam Boyle , Martin O Connor . Subs, Kevin Bowler for Tom Prizell .